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World Building and The Soldier

There's an idea I have with regard to my writing on this site; create multiple stand-alone stories that are loosely interconnected, take place within the same universe, and will ultimately combine to outline the shape of a much larger narrative (and no I have no idea how long this will take to do.  Other than a while.  Quite a while.)  My intent is to touch on many of the classic horror tropes and give them my own spin while finding common ground to work them into one encompassing story. 

I can't say it is an original idea, but as no parallel examples come to mind,  I can't be certain it isn't either.  Really the closest thing I can think of is the Diskworld series but, as far as I know (I'm not super well read on those) they merely share some characters and take place in the same world; there isn't a larger story being told.  Plus, you know, novels vs. short stories.  (*self edit: Pretty sure Asimov's first three Foundation Books were written this way.  Sort of.)

In any case, about four years ago I started writing a story that I hoped would turn into a novel (or even a series of novels.)  Unfortunately, my attention span couldn't cut it and about fifty pages in it got left to rot on my external hard drive.  That was, until last week when, two stories into my fledgling universe, I pulled it back out again.

You see, the story was pretentious (I find the longer I write consecutively the more bogged down my writing becomes...possibly even this blog post) but there were some parts of it I really liked.  A few set pieces (does that pertain to books, or just movies? Fuck it.) seemed to work pretty well.  And I thought it could possibly fit into this world I was trying to build.  So, I took a machete to it and cut out all the philosophy, self reflection, and other boring stuff that was only serving to slow it down.

The end result is The Soldier.  I realized when I dropped a draft on the writer's workshop and got no feedback that the biggest problem I had was length...specifically too much of it.  My mind turned to the old movie serials that used to play in theaters and I thought, why not give that a shot.

Right now its broken down into six parts, and will most likely have a short part 7/epilogue.  I'm still working on part six (don't tell the mods) but I know where its going, and really just have to polish it up all nice and shiny.  My intent is to post one part daily (every two days at most, if I get really busy with that annoying 'life' thing) until the end. 

So far, I've got the first three parts up.  They're all linked and everything for ease of navigation (fancy).  I'm sort of proud of it as it's probably the longest self contained story I've ever written, and also because I think it's pretty good.  Hopefully, at least a few of you who read this blog will give it a look.  Hopefully a few of you that give it a look will agree that it's good.  To all you others: give me your criticism.  If it's constructive, I'll probably even listen to it.  To everyone: Please tell me what you thought, either way.  Hope you enjoy!

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