1. FutureAuthor

    FutureAuthor New Member

    Jul 11, 2016
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    Ways to Connect Short Stories/Novellas

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by FutureAuthor, Sep 17, 2016.

    I have written 7 Novellas featuring 7 different characters.
    Each story takes place in the same city.
    Each story is a mystery where each character solves a murder or some kind of crime in this city.

    I've asked quite a few well known agents if they were interested in a collection of crime novellas and ive gotten a "yes" but only if they were "connected" to be marketed as a novel.

    How does one go about connecting these 7 stories together?

    The only thing i have so far that's an immediate connection is time/setting.
    The 7 crimes don't connect but the characters solving those crimes do connect in ways. Some have immediate connection to others while some doesn't until later on in the series. (yes, i plan to make it a series)
    For example:
    One character is the long lost sibiling of another character. Its not revealed right away. But it will be down the line.
    Another character will be the mother of another character who thought his mother abandoned him after birth. Again, not revealed right away.

    Here are a few connections the characters have also:
    They all attend this institution that trains them to fight and solve crimes.
    They all attend events and ceremonies together.
    They are connected through friends and families. (ex: MC 1 best friend is dating MC 2. But MC 1 doesn't meet nor interact with MC 2)
    They all compete in the same sporting competition.

    Is time/setting enough to connect these stories to be marketed off as a novel?
  2. Solar

    Solar Contributor Contributor

    Jan 27, 2011
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    Frame story.
  3. IHaveNoName

    IHaveNoName Senior Member Community Volunteer

    Mar 15, 2016
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    You need an overarching plotline, not just a serious of connections. Look at John Scalzi's novel The Human Division - it comprises 13 short stories using different characters that all take place along the same timeline, related to the same events. Really, all the books in the Old Man's War series do the same thing, but this one in particular is most relevant to what you want to do.

    So basically... make the crimes connected. Would it be easy to trace it all back to a single person/group? What's their goal?
    Nicola likes this.
  4. hawls

    hawls Active Member

    May 24, 2016
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    The (city name) Mysteries?
  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

    Jul 7, 2016
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    I don't know how long your stories are, but when trying to sell a collection, it helps if some of the stories have been published in magazines prior to your book coming out. It will make you and your project seem more desirable to agents. I suggest sending your best story in the collection to someplace like Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. There's another big magazine for mysteries, but the name is slipping me right now. These aren't the easiest places to sell stories, but a sale to someplace impressive like AHMM could help you quite a bit.

    It doesn't sound like your stories are easily going to fit into a novel format. That's okay, but collections are a harder sale. Still, it sounds like you have a good idea. You could rework it to have the same characters reappear in all the stories, focusing on the main character. Or you could take your chances with other agents or publishers who might see your vision and want to work with you. But I don't know how likely you are to sell a collection without first racking up some publishing credits.
  6. cydney

    cydney Banned

    Jul 31, 2016
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    Sydney, Australia
    This project sounds interesting- the idea of mysteries connecting.
  7. redpigsister

    redpigsister New Member

    Oct 1, 2016
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    You don't necessarily have to have anything other than a series of connections to make your books somewhat connected. If you look at Kurt Vonnegut's universe, there are plenty of connections you can see between characters that have appeared in other books if you have read those other books, yet every book can stand alone just fine. I though this was a very interesting way to do it, since it was like the connections were a little bit extra and not essential. However if you are making a series with a stronger connection in which you should read them in order, there definitely has to be an overarching plot that is more involved in the understanding than just passing connections. I always thought the idea of just having stories in the same "universe" with connections existing, but not really being essential, interesting, and it feels like this is where your books are going.

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