Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Disconnected Series

Sometimes a story needs to be told over a length that is greater than feasible or in some manner desirable. Feasibility is quickly falling by the wayside when e-books can be of any length with no regard for spine width or holding the pages together. Desirability is a function of a few things. Cost asked for the book. The amount of time a reader is expected to stay with a story at any particular interval without seeking a change of pace. A similar need in the author either to write something different for a while or simply take a break. That author break may be researching something different later use, which doesn't break the fiction flow or feel of the current story while still giving the brain cells a chance to change gears. A series of books or stories starring the same main character(s) isn't the only kind of series. This sometimes feels like an idea that gets lost and or forgotten.

I've been thinking about this topic for the last little while because in the recent Killing Time - Horror E-Rag Issue 2-2 I released in PDF the first of my devil stories. It is titled "Toasty Warm" and so far is part of a trilogy where the only tie is that there are devils involved in the plot. Nothing else binds them. No repeat characters; not even the devils. So how is that a series? The stories are related. They are a part of the same vein of the same mythos--at least as I've done them. It's the same as they would be if they were a more coherent continuing series rather than a series in spirit or intent alone. I haven't put much more thought into the series since the conclusion of the third story. The time is appropriate to look at returning to the themes into which these stories play, what they are expressing about that corner of the mythos I wish to build, and should there be more.

The question is more what? The simple answer is that it may be time to look at pulling the strings together between these stories and bring some kind of greater coherence. This could be bringing out an overarching story that requires the previous parts--at least for the continued readership who has been witness to the events from start to newest finish--yet can stand on its own. Moving from disconnected to connected is not a given. It may not even be desirable. Sometimes trying to pull off the connection diminishes the feel that was previously held. It can weaken the strength born of their uniqueness. It may just be unfulfilling and have no bearing on the past. Either way it is a question that needs to be asked before embarking on such a goal. The rewards and the satisfaction are great if it can be pulled off though. It's something that requires a deft hand and good forethought.

Mood: reflective.
Music: Anthem of the World by Stratovarius and Sister of Pain by Vince Neil.

Stratovarius: Destiny
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Vince Neil: Exposed
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