At the moment I'm working on a science fiction novel series I'll probably spend a few decades of writing on, called The Alterverse Saga. Originally I had a number of ideas for various story arcs planned (each a trilogy, and each intricate in their own right), which I eventually grouped together in the same fictional multiverse (I say "multiverse" instead of "universe", because some of the stories take place in parallel timelines). Recently I was inspired to do something slightly insane and most like incredibly challenging: writing all six story arcs as a single novel series. The Alterverse Saga will consist of 12 books (in my current planning), and is divided as such: -Books I - III will form what would have been the first books of five of the story arcs. -Books IV - VI will form the second books of said story arcs. -Books VII - IX will form the third books. -Books X - XII will be the sixth originally planned trilogy, written basically as originally planned. On top of that, each book will contain one of 12 short stories that take place in the same universe, to provide background. Although each story has shares some common elements with some of the other stories, I thought they needed a much better connection. So, I've introduced another story, which will be central to the whole series, but take up a proportionally tiny bit of each book. The story is that of a novelist who writes each of the stories semi-simultaneously, based on dreams she has. She will be the main character of the story and will reflect on the stories as they come to her, and eventually make emotional investments with some of the characters (this will better connect her with the other stories and, I hope, make it easier for the reader to keep track of what's going on in each story). As each story is fairly intricate in their own right, I've divided each book of the original trilogies (excluding the sixth) into three parts so that the stories in each Alterverse book are (in theory) less intricate and easier for the reader to follow. I imagine many would object to the series spanning 12 books, each book containing multiple stories and the general complexity of it all, but I'm honestly not willing to change any of that. Instead, all I want to do is make the read easier, while still gripping for the reader. In the books, the stories are gonna jump around quite a bit. To make it clear which story the reader has switched too, I'll add the story title as a heading at the start of every story segment, as well as a "timeline key", which is a symbol showing the story's position in regard to the other stories in the multiverse. Hopefully, readers will be able to attach each story its corresponding symbol when reading the book. What I'm most worried about is how well the reader will be able to keep track of the various characters in each story. So, am I going about this right? Any ideas on how I can make the books easier on the reader (as I'm stubbornly going to continue working on this series as multiple story lines)? How can I make the characters easier to identify for the reader (I don't want them to go "Who's that again?")? Anything else you'd like to suggest or comment on? Is this even the right forum for this topic? Answers to these questions would be much appreciated.