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 All the stories as one novel series?

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Denizen of the Higher Dimensions
Denizen of the Higher Dimensions

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PostSubject: All the stories as one novel series?   Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:39 am

A really iffy thought struck me earlier today: what if I wrote the Alterverse stories all as a single series?

I blame Cloud Atlas (the film, not the novel (the novel tells it differently)) for this - in the film, six stories are told simultaneously, with the scenes jumping around between the stories. The six stories seem independent, but are all connected to one another. Now, Cloud Atlas is about the connectedness of everything and the stories flow into one another by the medium in which their told (the first story is narrated from a journal which is read in the second story, which is narrated in the form of letters with are read in the third story, which is narrated in the form of the manuscript for a novel in the fourth story, which is told as a film in the fifth story, which has become a religiously important legend in the sixth story, as well as being told as an interview/interrogation which has been recorded and is played in the sixth story). Therefor, this kind of simultaneous storytelling works really well for Cloud Atlas, but can it at all work for Alterverse?

Here's a few key challenges such an endeavour would pose:
-The six stories of Clous Atlas are, on their own, pretty short and simple with only a single point of view, whereas the Alterverse stories are all highly complex and stretched out with multiple points of view in each.
-In Cloud Atlas, the six stories are very well connected, not only by the way they are told, but also as all the main characters have incarnations in almost all the stories. For Alterverse, such powerful connections would still need to be created.
-In order not to make each book in an Alterverse series too massive, I would need to either split up the various contributing stories considerably, or not tell a part of every story in each book. With the former, this creates the problem of needing to end stories at relatively boring points (or without much really having happened in the story) in most of the books. With the latter, this would create a gap in continuity in stories whenever one or more of the books leaves them out. (If this point has been worded terribly, I may a tabulated example of both those options later.)

Regardless, I think I actually want to do this. Perhaps I'll write the independent stories' novels and series separately, then write a combined Alterverse series later, or perhaps I'll write the combined series, but then release the independent stories' novels alongside or shortly afterwards.

As for an Altervse combined series itself, here's a few things I could do to make it easier on both the reader and myself:
-I could partly tell all or most of the stories from the point of view of the Watcher, as he travels between the various times and timelines. This would be the main connecting element, and the culminating story would actually be about his observation of these important events.
-I'd probably write each of the stories (the Watcher's POV included) in different fonts (nine different fonts, to be exact) and make it clear (with a line across the page or something) when I switch stories.
-I'd obviously need to add more connective elements, generally things that show the continuity and also physically connect the stories in the culminative timeline. For example, I could have David watch part of a documentary about the events of Wretches and Kings (during the Extinction Period), have one of Priantos' descendants uncover a recording he made specifically for their ears, or even have a character in S.P.I.R.E. magically glimpse one of the other timelines. Of course, all the stories will eventually become more and more linked via time travel and, in the last few books, will end up completely connected with the storyline of A.E.G.I.S. Watch.
-In the Cloud Atlas novel, each of the six stories also have their own names, which are in the headings of their respective chapters. I would probably also need to do this with an Alterverse series, for example "Chapter 7: The Peoples of Algol, Dual Initiation - Part 3".
-Finally, I had the idea to introduce a new story, that on it's own would make a pretty damn boring novel. I intend to call it something like "[Insert character name here]'s Philosophies". It will involve a character in modern times (likely also present in Breakdown and S.P.I.R.E. as well, both of which take place in modern times as well, but in alternate realities), in what will essentially appear to be the real world (creatively unaltered, with no elements of speculative fiction, such as magic or extraterrestrials), who will reflect on multiple "what-if" scenarios (or perhaps dreams he/she has of the other stories), as well as philosophise on concepts (such as love and responsibility) that will be relevant in parts of the other stories told just before or after the chapters of this story. Perhaps he could even be a novelist, writing the stories. This will essentially fill the gaps between the stories, as well as giving the reader time to process everything and connect the dots. He/she might potentially be somehow psychically connected to the Watcher and may turn into the main protagonist later on.

On a last note, I will still plan and - to a large extent - write the various stories independently (so they will all still have their own forums here), and then decide how best to put them together. Or, you know, I could just write an Alterverse series all-in-one, if this idea is received well. Either way, I will always be able to release the stories independently if things don't pan out. Oh, and I intend to write a total of 12 Alterverse novels, if you think I should go ahead with this.

So... yay or nay? Any suggestions or ideas?
The Alterverse Saga - Book I - The Novelist.docx
A sneak-peak type thingie about what this'll be like
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