How many times can you rewrite a first chapter? I think I'm heading for a record. The first few pages of a novel are crucial in hooking readers' interest and persuading them to keep going beyond the free sample. It's always going to be hard to get it right, but with a sequel it's even harder. How much of the previous novel's events should I fill in? Do I need to describe the characters again? There's a real danger that I'll end up info dumping–having characters tell each other things they already know–and slowing the start of the novel down so much readers will be bored. If I don't explain anything from the previous novel, however, will new readers be lost?
    My dilemma presents a great temptation. Looking at how other author's have tackled the problem could provide me with a solution, but it's all too easy to get diverted and carry on reading instead of going back to my rewrites.
    I might end up writing a prologue–a scene that brings readers up to date before the real action of Discord's Apprentice starts–which can be skipped if the reader chooses. What puts me off this is that 'the prologue' reminds me of Up Pompeii–definitely not the image I want for Discord's Apprentice!