I don’t write stories in order of events. I imagine different scenes or interactions with characters and then put the pieces together as I go. I don’t know if this is common or not. As I have most of the concept of the plot and events in mind, it is easy to pick and choose where some scenes would make the most sense to go. My dilemma now is that this is a continuation of a story. I need to fill in the gap between them. I am trying to keep in mind that not everyone starts at the beginning of the series. Say they didn’t know there was the first book and start from book two. How do I clue them into what happened previously while keeping in mind there are readers familiar with the story? I don’t want to bore those people with a rehash of the first book.
My options are to write a prologue or info dumps. I am leaning towards the prologue. It’s neat and tidy; I get all the background info out of the way. On the other hand, Info dumps can be used effectively if I want to dangle a bit of mystery to the new readers while knowing the fans of the first book are just getting a refresher. What I am probably going to do is, well, both. At least at the first draft.
I’ll write a prologue summarizing past events (which works for me too as a tool to ensure events that are important to point out are in order). Then, as I add more to the story and build plots, I can scatter that information into critical points. Who knows, I might end up doing a combination of the two. Where I omit certain things from the prologue and drop them into the story like little knowledge bomblets.
Who knows how this is going to end up. I’ve mentioned before that sometimes I am as surprised by the story as the audience.