Thoughts on a serial based on shared thematic/world elements?

2 months ago | LambentTyto (Member)

I've been pondering the possibility of doing a serial of my own, but my one of my larger concern has been length. I generally write shorter stuff at around 50,000 words. I'm also interested in writing stand alone pieces. Anyway, I was thinking about Final Fantasy. The game series doesn't center around a shared world or a continued story, but rather thematic elements, and even though the various games are unrelated from one another in many cases, they still have shared content, such as chocobos and other story/world elements, but not enough to say they're actually set in a shared universe. I'm interested in doing something like this in writing.

So basically I think my "serial" would be centered around short stand alone novels, released in 5-10 post chunks, depending on how I decide to divide the chapters. I spoke about chapter length in a recent post here and a lot of people gave their thoughts on that, which I appreciate!

So just to sum it up, my serial wouldn't be based around the idea of a continuing story, but rather a series held together by other elements. I've also considered shared worlds, but I don't know. I admit, I like to recycle elements back into my writing. Not because I'm lazy, but because I like to keep the good stuff while adding new elements.

But then this makes me wonder, maybe this wouldn't be a web serial, but rather a website hosting multiple web novels. I suppose the difference isn't really that big. Or is it?

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Responses

  1. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    I dig it.

    While it was never in a serial format, I have an erotic blog where I post stories with a focus on supernatural femdom as a theme and as a super power system. There are several settings I use based around this theme that are technically all interconnected in the background lore, but overall, most of the stories, or clusters of stories, are stand alone adventures or short scenes. I've done a variety of media to express this, but it comes down to what I call a "mosaic approach." It's been really fun being able to do a different set of circumstances, details, and characters from different areas of the setting which when combined give you a fuller picture of the universe instead of contriving one main character to have to constantly travel around to see everything.

    So, I would say go for it. The Shared Universe concept is really fun, even if its just shared between your various ideas alone. If you build up enough material, you can even release them as anthologies themed around specific worlds, if you were planning to go the book route.

  2. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    I've done exactly this, and it's worked out for me. Same general time, same planet (except part of one which takes place on the moon)... even a character or two managing to crossover into other stories...

    I held together a fairly sizable readership over six books, so it's clearly doable.

    ... Alternate suggestion: Look over at Discworld. Not exactly a web series, but it did what you're suggesting and was awesome.

    Author of Price.
  3. LambentTyto (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    Awesome. Glad it's been working out for you guys. I guess I'll go for it then! First I've gotta build a backlog and maybe outline some world building and such. I'm thinking Word Press for my platform. That's a bit off topic, but what do you guys think about it?

  4. Sharkerbob (Member)

    Posted 2 months ago

    I don't like WordPress, because I'm poor and the free version is way too limited in its options (at least the version I tried, not sure if they've changed it since). Still, if you want to put a little money in, it seems to be the preferred site around here, and can be the basis of making your own website.

    I've been using Blogspot for almost ten years now, and it's worked out well for me.

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