1. Asuran
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    Asuran Member

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    Multipe Stories in the Same Universe

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Asuran, Feb 23, 2009.

    I am starting a series of novel that all represent historic events in history. They occur on the same timeline, different events affecting each other, but the actual stories and styles have very little in common. Is this appealing to a reader? Would a reader find more thrill in seeing new characters or in spending more time with familiar plots and people?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    What matters is the writing itself. If it appeals to the readers, they will look to you for more. If not, they won't.
     
  3. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    My favorite author, Ted Dekker, writes most of his stories in the same plane of existence, if you will. None of them directly relate to the others unless they're part of a series, but you can find bits and references of story x in stories y and z, and so on. Personally, I love the idea so much that I decided to use it myself.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but this idea gets a big smiley face from me. :D
     
  4. delhi
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    delhi Member

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    Personally, I like that kind of stories the most. It gives me a sense of understanding that other stories don't give you. Characters of which you wouldn't normally think much show you sides and stories as interesting as those you loved first; details that seemed simple features turn out to be causes or consequences of much greater matters. Just like real life...!
    Actually, the moment something from story A pops out in story B, you find "familiar plots or people", you find yourself conmfortable and delighted. Well, at least I do.
    Of course, as Cogito says, the writing is what matters.
     
  5. Asuran
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    Asuran Member

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    Thank you for the thoughts. It seems to get a good reaction, but I don't know if I'm really good enough to pull it off. Oh, well! Practice makes perfect!
     
  6. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    This is an interesting idea.

    I wonder out loud. Would it be better to have just one thread that extends from one story to the other? Something small, maybe even insignificant, but still present from one storyline to the next?
     
  7. Every
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    Every Member

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    You might want to try writing a collection of short stories in this manner? Just to get used to the way you're going to write these novels.

    I like the idea of having different styles per story, definitely try a few very distinct styles, and viewpoints (for example, give a child, an animal, a beggar, maybe even an object? viewpoints as to underline the difference in styles?) Sorry if this is total bullocks, its just an idea that came to mind.

    EDIT: I think you have a good point Dcoin. And I wonder what sort of thing you want this thread to be? An object, a moral, a theme or a quote? or maybe something else, or a combination? Am interested to hear your view on this.
     
  8. Asuran
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    Asuran Member

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    Ironically, before Dcoin posted, I had an idea like this. It's a name. In each story, the name of the main character is the same. It sounds corny, but I like the idea.
     
  9. Every
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    Every Member

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    No no, I like that! Let me know how you progress, you have got me interested!
     
  10. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Well ... books by Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft and Thomas Pynchon always refrence one-another, and it never did them any harm.
     
  11. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    I love the idea of using a common name.

    Personally, I was leaning towards an object. Something small and easily overlooked except for the fact that it appears in all story lines. For some reason a small musical instrument comes to mind.

    The object would of course be dependent on individual contexts.
     
  12. Paul_V
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    Paul_V Member

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    Huh. This is very interesting. I asked a very similar question at the General Writing forum. That's definitely what I'd do, but I am also wondering whether people would like that. It's hard for them to develop an attachment to a character if you keep switching stories every chapter. But I am personally a huge fan of intersecting stories, so I'm very biased.
     
  13. Every
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    Every Member

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    Personally I think this will be overlooked because of the thing the stories DO share. Not attachment to a character, but an eagerness to find this red line, and to find out why the author puts this red line in each story. That is why I think this idea is so clever.
     
  14. Asuran
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    Asuran Member

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    Well, it wouldn't be every chapter, more like every novel. Also, do you like the idea of making it not obvious that they are related? Or should I pretty much just slam it in your face?
     
  15. delhi
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    delhi Member

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    I like the first option. If you show the link too strongly, it may feel awkward if you don't read the other stories that are related. Besides, personally, I think it's more interesting if the reader can feel they are "accidentally" finding similarities, like subtle clues in a mystery story, or like a code message from the author to the reader. At least, when I write that kind of stuff I do it like that.
     
  16. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    I also enjoy reading this type of writing. One author that immediately comes to mind is Terry Brooks. He has several trilogies that are all connected but take place over long periods of time. Great books and very subtle connections. Good luck with this. Hopefully we'll see something in the review room before long ;)
     
  17. Paul_V
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    Paul_V Member

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    Go for subtlety. It's always better to overestimate your reader than underestimate him/her.
     
  18. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    I like when something in story A sets up story B. For example: In story A a new president promising change was elected. In story B that change had already taken place. However, it had not been the change that the people in story A wanted.
     
  19. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    I think a variety of subtle links would be good not just one

    I recently watched a Mexican film: Amerros Pierros, where three stories are joined together by a car crash but also a variety of other things.

    Eg. They all have dogs, they all have fatherless families, they all have mirrors featured highly, they all involve couples etc...
     
  20. Paul_V
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    Ummmmm, perhaps you mean Amores Perros?
     
  21. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    ^Yeah that one, sorry don't know Spanish
     

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