Monday, June 19, 2017

Building an intertwined narrative, thoughts on development

Art by: Alexia Veldhuisen
Art from the "Comet over Echo Rock" adventure module, book two of the "Tarot Adventure Series"
Coming Fall of 2017.

You can find more information about Alexia and her art: HERE

When you write several things for publication that are within the same genre, it can be fun for yourself, and for the readers, to link those stories together in ways that have them sharing the same universe.

As a writer if helps to give you a larger picture to fill in.  You can take the elements that have fallen into place through your existing writings, then get to work on filling in the "blanks" that exist between those narratives.

As a publisher it makes good business sense to do so, as long as you can keep the quality of the narrative high.  By tying the stories together, you encourage people to explore the rest of your world(s) by seeking out other books you've written.

As a new writer/publisher, I've given this a good deal of thought.  I am firmly convinced at this point (remember, I'm the new guy so take this with a grain of salt) that placing those tie-ins will help to expand the interest in the books I write.  I like to think, that much like me, people like to explore the worlds they read about.  They seek out those gray corners that haven't existed yet in the settings they are reading through and look to discover what lies there.

Writing tie-ins doesn't have to be difficult.  For an example, I'm working on a plot that incorporates a character that is dead in my first rpg publication.  When the book containing that plot springs forth, it will carry that small thing, that small continuity seed, from the prior book.  In that way I hope to provide a sense of logical progression of the stories.  That enhanced feeling toward immersion, to (hopefully) enhance the player experience for my role-playing game products.

So how am I going to achieve this?

I am writing in a character for a "cameo" appearance in one of the coming books.  A simple device that will (hopefully) provide to the players an emotive response in coming books as they have that memory to draw from.  Wish me luck!

In your own writing, consider doing this as well.

I think the best contemporary example I can think of comes from the writings of Charles Stross.  Mr. Stross, creator of the Laundry Files series of novels (if you haven't read them, you're missing out), has a central protagonist in one Bob Howard.  Through the course of the series, Mr. Howard grows and evolves into an ever more interesting character.  Marriage, and discovery abound, including the discovery that vampires exist.  Enter a nice side step in the series when Mr. Stross writes a stunningly good book centered on Mr. Howard's wife!  Then another treat, when Mr. Stross writes a well paced, and joyously tense book concerning a certain vampire from a previous book!

These steps aside, expand the scope of the works, and build upon the suspension of disbelief.  They help to make the entire series feel more real, or perhaps more easily related to as near our own reality, would be more appropriate.  Whether you empathize with the nerdy vampire (I will not give you spoilers, trust me and buy the books, read them in order then wait like the rest of us for the next one), or feel the existential crisis of the middle-aged wife who is losing her grasp on her marriage, both books are a boon to the series.

I'll post a link to his blog HERE,   His books are magnificent.

I want to thank you all for accompanying me through these experiences as I adventure into writing and publishing role-playing game material.

Thank you.

Remember, you can find Sinopa Publishing LLC on Facebook: HERE

I hope you will join me next time.

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