by Joshua Johnson
Recently, I started work on a second series set on the world of Zaria. It follows a new set of characters and a new plot.
One of the aspects of fantasy worldbuilding that I’ve never really had a chance to explore (for one reason or another) is the concept of multiple storylines built out of from a common base.
Many of my favorite authors have done this in one degree or another, and I’ve always been interested in doing it. So I’ve started.
I’ve found it very interesting to begin planning multiple novels or series using common worldbuilding, without having them directly related. This approach has many benefits but many drawbacks.
I’ve found it convenient that I can use a lot of the same basic world information (length of the year, seasons, geography) when I’m plotting out the new series. I also have a lot of basic information about the nations of Zaria that I’ve been able to expand.
On the other hand, trying to manage multiple storylines has proven to be a challenge. While the new story doesn’t happen directly parallel with my existing story, there’s enough information that I’ve had to adjust the planning several times. I think that the biggest challenge has been managing multiple timelines and deciding where along the technology timeline each story is going to be and why.
So what authors have you read that have used a common worldbuilding base to write multiple stories that do or don’t intertwine? What do you think makes these kinds of worlds better or worse than linear or consecutive storylines within a series?