Monthly Archives: July 2010

Building Universes

Building Universes

I like detail.

And with that in mind, I have spent the last twenty hours or so connecting a universe together. I’m not humble, I’m calling it “My Universe” and I am linking ALL of my stories within it.

Yes, some is supernatural, some is alternate future, some is comedic sci fi, and everyone is related to everyone else.

Part of it is just common sense – why recreate characters when I can write stories about one set in one book and write about an interconnecting set in another?

So I’ve got two connections I’m currently working on – Schicksal Turnpike and the Chronicles of Liv Rowan – very different entirely, but both will link to War’s End through shared characters. For instance, “Schicksal” has a child character in it who is the grandmother of Jess in “War’s End”. And “Shicksal” also has a guy who ends up dying in Vietnam, but not before fathering an illegitimate son with one of the Astor heirs who eventually marries the daughter of Madeleine Falling Water’s (Book 1) daughter Penelope, who will appear in Book 2 of War’s End.

Madeleine L’Engle did this. She wrote different stories about sets of families, and they all interconnected with each other. And Stephen King is well known for referencing other books in his ‘universe’ on a regular basis.

I love the sense of connection – and the endless lists of possible stories and plots that comes from first creating and clarifying the characters and then doing spin-off stories.

I haven’t linked the Chronicles of Liv Rowan in quite yet, but it’s getting close. Mainly I’m just creating some mini back stories to set the parameters for the books to come. For some reason, at least for now, that seems to be working for me. At the very least, I’m finding myself weaving some great premises. Next on the agenda is “Zombie Squad” and maybe “Plague Tales” – those could really put a twist on ‘reality’ as we know it.

I’ve created a Master Character list that tracks the connections and the books that the characters appear in. I’m also adding Timelines to all ‘books in progress’ in order to keep all the facts straight. It’s a lot of work, but I think that it’s well worth the effort!