Ah, the recap. How can you get on with the story when understanding depends on knowing what has come before? My trick is to make the recap do double-duty and even triple if possible. In the following lines, the reader is reminded of Ilse’s relationship to someone called “Horth”. But we also feel the strain created by her companion’s concern and learn about how she prefers to cope.
“Nervous?” Amel asked in a low voice, highlighted by a look of mild concern.
“No,” Ilse denied. “I’ve worked with overflown Nersallians before. I’m fine.”
He dropped his voice lower, mindful of the academy staff in the seats behind them, and leaned toward her. “But won’t this be the first time you’ve seen Horth Nersal since —”
“I had his baby?” Ilse countered, loud enough to be overheard, making Amel start.
Every trick has a price, of course. The more work packed into the fewer lines, the greater the risk of bungling two or three messages instead of getting one across. I am never one to insist there’s a single, right way to do any chore.
How about you? Any examples you like to share from your own work of successful – or problematic – recaps?