Wrestling with exposition in a series

I have to admit that when I first envisioned NGD, I had in mind the start of a pretty traditional episodic series, where each book could stand on its own and readers could pick them up out of order and still get an enjoyable experience (though, obviously, reading them in order would be best).

As I finished NGD, this still seemed reasonable. HHNF may have been more dependent upon fist reading NGD, but I think that was allowed in only the second book. As I progress with TDYK, though, I find it being more and more important for a reader to have read the previous ones, to fully appreciate what is happening, why, and when unexpected connections, relationships and rivalries appear. Basically, I worry.

This is mostly because of the last few days of writing, which have been on that pivotal scene I mentioned previously. This morning I finished that scene off and, though I think it really does flow organically, I can’t help but see the expository nature of the scene — bringing the audience up to speed on a handful of things that have gone before — and worry that it will seem to readers as obvious and intrusive. I wonder if this information is absolutely critical, if I’m just being self-indulgent, or padding a section that should, instead, be lean and tight.

That said, if this is the worst of my problems, I’m doing pretty darn well.