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Merging Stories into One

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Androxine Vortex, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

    Today I had the crazy idea to take all three of my projects and fit them together into one single piece. The one novel acts more like an epic history narrative of my world and spans centuries, very similar to the Silmarilion. I could technically put my other story ideas in there and make just one grand piece. It might sound really weird to not want to publish or release books and only to publish a book, but I don't know I feel like I just like to create for my own enjoyment. I would love to share it but I am mainly just writing for my own satisfaction.

    I am very critical about my own work and am a slight perfectionist. Many of you know from earlier posts that I have chosen to write in styles found in epics like the Divine Comedy and while it is not popular, it's what I enjoy and what I feel most comfortable writing.

    I truly believe that things like popularity are fleeting and not lasting, especially when I am gone from this life (woah, did things just get weird?) I used to put so much stress on my stories but now I know I do it just as a hobby that isn't going to be around forever. Sorry if that makes me sound like a Debbie-downer, it's not like that at all, I just know that the things from this life wont pass on to the next, so why waste so much time stressing about temporary things? (now that makes me sound very lazy...)

    I feel like I am going a little off track here, so has the thought of merging stories ever crossed your mind?
  2. cupiscent

    cupiscent Sage

    Merging stories is something I do all the time. :) I often find that single-thread ideas that I have aren't really "big" enough for a novel, but when I braid a few of them together, I get a more complex story that supports itself nicely.

    For instance, the novel I'm in final revisions on contains three "main characters", each with their own story line, who intermingle and cross-pollinate. I could've tried each of them as a separate novella, but I think the whole is greater than the sum of their parts. One of the ideas I'm considering for up-next is actually a combination of two ideas; separately, I wasn't sure about either of them, suspecting there wasn't enough there to build out into a novel, but once I realised how I could weave them in together, it all came together quite nicely.

    However, in all of these cases, I bring the stories together into the same temporal and geographical space. The story threads merge and the characters interact. The tighter I can intermingle the elements, the stronger the story. I'm uncertain about the strength of just splicing stories end-to-end to just cover more events. Then again, I am a very character-driven reader, so I worry that in a book like that, there will be no one I care about to carry me through the whole book (I have never made it through the Silmarilion...).
  3. Androxine Vortex

    Androxine Vortex Archmage

    Well I wouldn't just copy and paste the ends of them to each other. I really enjoy intertwining everything and making everything connected in some way or another. Plus I feel I do have more flexibility since my stories span over multiple generations so I don't think everything would just be "too much mushed together."

    EDIT: I also admit while I agree that character is very important, I have always been more of a plot focused writer.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  4. AndrewMelvin

    AndrewMelvin Scribe

    I haven't merged stories, but I have merged story ideas. I find that an idea comes to me that is not enough for a story, but if I let if stew for a while another idea generally comes along. If I mix them together, or transplant the characters from one into the setting of another, I have a real starting point. My last book, a military fantasy, originally began life as a pirate adventure until a new and better plot idea came to me.
  5. God-Of-Toasters

    God-Of-Toasters Dreamer

    My work, the Realms of Sarglath, is going to be split into three different realms, spanning over a long period of time to illustrate the changes that have an effect on the world. The three realms will be on the same planet, but they would all represent a different system of technology reacting to a greater system of technology. The final part will have them all come in awareness of each other.
  6. Zephyr

    Zephyr Scribe

    First of all, I will say this: Many a good story has been dissected for the purposes of production, and thus has been attenuated.

    If your story ideas work as one, it makes more sense to keep them as one tale. It makes it tighter, and giving the stories the backdrop of your whole world will make them more accessible.

    If writing is your hobby, and in fact even if you had intended to publish this work, I would be the first to encourage you to have it all in one edition. Multiple volumes are very tedious, don't you think? When I go to the market to browse the second-hand book stalls, often I come across an interesting book and have to put it down again when I see it says "volume 5 of the second saga of Sir Hero." (or something similar)

    Well, you mentioned this, and so I have to do my utmost to refute it! Popularity is not something that cannot endure. Look at JRR Tolkien, HP Lovecraft, JD Salinger... they are all gone, but their work will live on forever. Writing is a means of communication, and there is a permanency in it: Their words will continue to inspire and intrigue for generation after generation. Sure, most books will never see the popularity these authors now enjoy, but even if success never grapples you there will always be people who find your work and love it. That is as good a reason as any to put all the effort you can muster into the work you do. My partner alone can encourage me to keep writing even if all others think it is terrible, because he adores it, and seeing him enjoy what I write gives me more pleasure than anything else.
  7. Alex_Darkling

    Alex_Darkling Acolyte

    I have a fantasy project which I have been writing on and off for a few years until I recently started to dedicate real time too, I found that when I was writing it as a solo project I was getting hung up and my creativity was being sapped by spending all my writing time in that world and timeline so to free things ups I started writing short stories that took place in the same world but across hundreds of years.

    This collection of short stories then naturally evolved into a companion book telling the history of my world's nations and races, this then lead onto yet another spin off work that detailed all the other factors of my world and collected legends I have set in a "pre-time" timeline. So I guess what I'm saying is almost the reverse, I created one story, spun it off and ended up with two companions set in the same universe.

    I also recently mapped out a sci-fi novel and whilst doing so it dawned on me that two other sci-fi Ideas I had outlined prior would work in the same universe, with a couple of tweaks here and there I ended up with a trilogy and a spin-off planned out for that universe too.
  8. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    Sounds like Kerr's 'Devery' series - a collection of novellas spanning centuries with key characters linked by reincarnation. Each novella stands alone, but the underlying circumstances stem from decisions made in previous stories, and actions in the current novellas influence future tales.

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