I have for some time now had a vision of an even larger story than Shade of the Morning Sun, but in the same genre or format (linked short stories) and also published online.
That means a vastly bigger pool of linked short stories – much bigger than just the linked stories that make up Shade of the Morning Sun.
My not exactly well-thought-out working title for this vision is: The Biggest Story Ever Told. Ahem …
Perhaps it is easier to visualize if we call each site with a collection of stories for a Cluster of Stories.
I really think it would be awesome if there were other clusters of stories like Shade of the Morning Sun with series of linked short stories about the same cast (e.g. a family, a group of friends) – and if these clusters (sites with stories) all connected to other clusters of stories (other sites with stories).
Here’s an example:
Let’s say there was a site with a story-cluster about a family in South Africa and their experiences in the last handful of decades. This ‘South Africa Stories’ could then link to Shade of the Morning Sun by way of one or two short stories, where the characters from each cluster interact.
I have an as-of-yet undeveloped story idea about Carrie’s brother-in-law, Dave, whom I’d like to write about as he travels Africa for awhile searching for some larger meaning in his life, and then he discovers that he is not really supposed to be there, or to help anyone there with anything. He is supposed to go home and try to do what he is good at namely writing. Or something to that effect. As said – the idea is very sketchy.
Anyway, Dave could easily meet a character or two from South Africa Stories while he is traveling. Or maybe a South Africa character gets a job in the US, migrates over there and meets Carrie or Jon? The possibilities are pretty much endless, but this is just an example of how it is supposed to work.
Imagine then in 10 or 20 years or more, when you have maybe a hundred clusters around the Internet with stories about all sorts of people in many different regions: China, Russia, Europe, the Middle-East, South America, etc. And many more story clusters taking place in North America, of course. Some of these clusters are linked, some are not, but every cluster links to at least one other cluster.
So in principle all clusters of stories form part of a greater story, even if it’s definitely not your average novel or book. The only claim to coherence for this Biggest Story Ever Told would of course be that in the end all of these clusters are linked, at least once, and so all the characters have something to do with each other, even if the connection is very abstract in many instances.
For example, George in South Africa Stories migrates to the US because he is to be married with a woman from South Carolina. He get a few new friends there, including Ron who is the main protagonist in East Coast Stories and who happens to have an important back story at the police academy with Jon, Carrie’s husband, before Ron moved away from the West coast and settled down. Maybe Jon and Ron still are in touch.
So in this example there is a direct link between South Africa Stories and East Coast Stories, and another link between Shade of the Morning Sun and East Coast Stories, but no direct link between Shade and South Africa. But there could be a link in the latter case – later on.
I’m writing about this vision because I hope that down the line other people will come to share it and begin writing clusters of linked stories and publish them online as I have, and then start to connect to other clusters. I think that could be really, really cool. I mean, the sheer number of all of these clusters of stories with links to other clusters. There really isn’t any other motivation for me, when I think about this, than: “Wow – this could be so cool doing.”
If you feel the same way, why not get started and throw me an email, to see if our stories can link up?
Remember: Everything is connected 🙂