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World-Building Conundrum

I enjoy a good world building when it comes to storytelling. Immediately, the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) comes to mind for many of us. And while that's definitely a high-profile example of world building, it's not the kind I prefer. When building a story-verse amongst several different intellectual properties comes ahead of actually telling the main story, that's a problem. Star Wars: A New Hope works because it's a stand-alone story. If you never had the countless stories after A New Hope it would stand on its own and people would love it. Even though Lucas knew what he wanted to do in Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, etc, etc, he didn't let it overtake his original tale.

Most (not all) Marvel movies don't do this. There are other examples. Jurassic World comes to mind. But there are also examples of it being done in a way where it doesn't pull focus away from the main story, yet can be appreciated on its own. Fantastic Beasts is good with this, as well as Quentin Tarantino. All of his movies live in the same world, but you don't need to know this when watching them individually. Stephen King is just one of many, many novelists who do this with great ease.

And I know this is nothing new. It's just increased in popularity for some reason lately. I bring all of this up because I am guilty of it as well. All of my stories live in the same world, in different locations, but coexisting in one dimension of time whether it's screenplays, short stories, novels, short films. I've never blended characters or locations in stories until the second, and latest, Adam Parker book. I set up a town in the book, known as Brookville, where strange things have been known to occur. Things like what my next story will be about. I introduce stories or asides in the book which reference other stories known, and unknown, to many. In fact, I also have a character in the new Adam Parker book from the feature I made: Save the Forest.

So I like world-building, but it's a fine line between telling the story you're writing and sacrificing that story for something bigger. The assumption that your reader will dig your decisions is big and if there's ever a doubt while writing, always err to the side of the story you are telling, not the stories you're referencing.

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