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Second book, same characters

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Mark Hoffmann:
So in Book Two how much old ground do you need to go over? Is it safe to assume most people will have read Book One, so just need a little reminder?



Jo Bannister:
No, never assume that.  It's a good way of losing readers.  Every book needs to stand alone - all the information you need to follow and enjoy it must be in each one.  It can be a bit of a challenge, presenting that information in a way that doesn't annoy people who did read the first book.  But you have to find a way.  What you hope is that people will pick up a series halfway through, and enjoy it enough to go back and buy the earlier books. 

Mark Hoffmann:
Thanks, Jo.

Mark Hoffmann:

Is this about the right amount of detail?

Thanks in advance


Lady Agatha pulled a face like a Frenchie who'd asked for a glass of chilled champagne and instead been given a glass of warm, Gross Bucolican, sparkling, grape juice. "I dislike Murcans, immensely," she said.

"Really? I thought you liked Agent Tulip?" Sir Septimus said.

Mickie Tulip was an agent with the Murcan Intelligence Agency. She'd worked with Sir Septimus on his now infamous investigation into the murder of a Ruskovian diplomat. He'd been ably assisted on that case by Lady Agatha. After some initial cultural friction, the two women had developed a mutual respect and become firm friends.

Jo Bannister:
That works OK, Mark, it sets the scene without taking all day over it.   

The other approach you might try is working your information into conversations between two of your characters - but, and it's a big but, don't ever let it look as if that's what you're doing.  The same rules of dialogue apply to this as elsewhere: it must be not merely what the character could say but what he would say.

And don't feel you have to dump all the material together.  Drip-feeding often works better.


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