A couple weeks ago, I broke down how a dramatic television episode works. The first point is The Recap. This serves a great purpose, especially in serialized episodes or ones where something is going to happen that directly relates to a previous episode of the show. This helps loyal viewers of the show to recall important points. It also helps those who don't watch regularly to understand what led to the story they are about to watch.
I'll be using The Recap in episodes of The Permanent Man. As each episode is released from week to week, this will help the reader know what to expect from the coming story and remind them of important plot points from past episodes. I'm also doing this in the event that someone reads the episode having never read one prior to it.
The Recap will work just like a television series recap. As soon as you open the eBook, it will say, "Previously on The Permanent Man...." Instead of snippets of dialogue like you would see on TV, there will be anywhere from 5-10 sentences of narration that point out important aspects of previous episodes that have a direct bearing on the episode to come. For instance, it would be something like this:
Previously on The Permanent Man....
After being apprehended by a secret agency for an unknown reason, Patrick Hold escaped. Agent Red chased him down, but before he could capture him, Patrick stumbled into a room where a science experiment was held. As the experiment ran, a beam of light hit Patrick and he disappeared. He reappeared in the desert. Before he had a chance to understand what happened, someone shot him with an arrow and he passed out....
This set up lets you know what you missed. It fills you in on the most important points. At the same time, you don't know much about the story to come, other than Patrick had been shot by an arrow and he might be in danger.
All episodes of The Permanent Man (except episode 1) will include The Recap. Loyal or passive, this will make the reading experience more enjoyable for everyone. And if you are the type of person who would rather go in blind, then you can skip it altogether. Without it, everyone has the same choice on how they proceed in the story. But with it, you have the option that suits your preference. That's the beauty of The Recap.
Desmond Shepherd has written several novels including Fram Gage, Futan Vice, and Imaginary Me. His upcoming project, The Permanent Man, is scheduled to release November 12, 2013 and is his most ambitious work yet. Every Tuesday, right here on The Time Capsule, he will release details about his journey in writing the stories.
He's also expecting his third child within a couple months, so you can expect possible delays in his blog posts and even the release date for The Permanent Man, but he's going to do whatever he can to avoid that.