Shared Universes

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Shared Universes

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:17 pm

A friend of mine shared a podcast with me about shared worlds. I'd never thought much about the concept before, but there are some authors who just love the concept, and it got me thinking. So this thread is devoted to not just Shared Worlds and what it means to write in them, but Shared Universes. Why a shared universe? Because Cosmothea is so darn big that there's just no way one person could explore such a huge universe, nor find enough hours in one's lifetime to record it all.

As I said early on, I created QT Games LLC to put out games and novels (including Anthologies as well, which is where we would likely start for just such an enterprise). I also said at that time that QT Games wasn't just about me getting published or Cosmothea getting on the market, but that I wanted to help others put out some great, creative products too. I'm still open to publishing 3rd party material - if it's of high quality, and with my background, I can help make that happen. But what I didn't discuss, is publishing other authors writing in a shared Cosmothean Universe.

As I look back on my life and look forward to what I'd like to accomplish and just how big Cosmothea has gotten, it has become plainly obvious that what I should do, and what would be very cool, is to open the doors for others to come in, and write great stories that take place within the huge, Cosmothea Universe.

As some of you know, I've written a great deal about the Cosmothea Universe. I wrote the blended-genre far future novel, Beyond Xanadu, about a decade ago, half of the Legacy of Malachi novel (about 250 pages worth of an epic tale of gods and men on the Cosmothean world of Adara), and in March of this year, began writing Book 1 of the Nexus Gates Trilogy, A Strange Acquaintance, which ties into our first Mega Adventure, itself a trilogy of adventure books, Mind Shroud being the first. And of course I've written countless short stories about people and events within the sprawling Cosmothea Universe. I've also written numerous stories that take place in an alternate universe and dozens of plays and skits (outside of the Cosmothea U), many of which have been produced over the past 12 years.

I am very excited to be writing A Strange Acquaintance, and have a laundry list of other cool projects I'd like to write in the future; stories that are ready to roll, but just need me to find the time. But I know of other creative people out there who have cool stories to tell as well. Their own stories. Some of those stories might be in their own universe, but some would benefit from a shared universe, which could bring more attention to them than their single story could on its own.

Writing for the Cosmothea Shared Universe wouldn't just be about me seeing my dream come alive. It would be about seeing the dreams of other authors come alive as well. If you are looking for a shared world or a shared universe to write in, you might want to take a closer look at why the Cosmothea Universe might be your best option. Because it blows the doors off of what's possible, compared to a great many shared worlds currently on the scene.

In my next post, I'll begin to delve into why someone might find it a boon to dive into Cosmothea's Shared Universe and never look back.
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Re: Shared Universes

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:21 pm

Some might find writing in a shared Cosmothea Universe a boon, as Cosmothea brings much to the table that would be a wonderful backdrop for countless exciting stories.

With a vast and detailed history spanning thousands of years, numerous worlds, gods, magic and fantastic technologies and species, there's a lot of homework already done for an author. I know that any world or universe would take some time for people to digest. But it's easier to absorb background details than having to create them all from scratch. Some of you know much about all that the Cosmothea Universe has to offer, others might only know the name. But in time, I know that many others will fall in love with the Cosmothea Universe as I have over the past 33 years. And in the days ahead, I will be open to authors writing novels for the Cosmothea Campaign Setting.

As Cosmothea takes off and more authors are aware of the universe and all that it has to offer as a backdrop for great stories, I'm sure the enthusiasm I have for that universe will spread. It is important to me that an author would feel like they have some ownership of the novel. And they would, no doubt. That's how it is with shared worlds, and that's how it would be in Cosmothea's Shared Universe.

Unlike many smaller settings, Cosmothea gives the author a great deal of room to spread their creative wings. They aren’t hemmed in by telling a story in a tight environment with only so much wiggle room. Now some shared worlds have a lot of wiggle room, but none remotely as much as a shared universe. With many genres and blended-genres and a robust backdrop built into Cosmothea's backstory, an author would find much to get excited about in writing a novel for the Cosmothea U.

And it’s not a lack of creativity to do so. After all, the author has complete control over their own characters and plot - they arethe ones telling their own story. And much of the homework has already been done for them. They don't have to worry about having to come up with everything from scratch. Many writers find a shared universe empowers them. They feel a burden lifted as they don't have to come up with a realistic setting in which to tell their story. It's already there. But if they want to flesh it out some more or jump to a different world, but enjoy the fact that the technology and gods and magic are already in place ... then they are free to explore and do some cool stuff.

There are many cool concepts that can’t be fully explored in the Cosmothea RPG due to lack of room and time, but an author can take exciting concepts and really run with them in whole new directions, many of which just aren't possible in other worlds and universes. And for many, that should be a big relief, enabling the author to focus more on the finer points of making that story come alive and leave a lasting impression.

The best stories get into the character’s heads, and using a big, existing campaign setting, doesn’t mean you can’t tell your own story, rather it means you can spend more of your energies telling your story, rather than having to figure everthing out ahead of time. Writing for a shared world could actually be quite cool. Writing for a shared universe would be even better!
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Re: Shared Universes

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:18 am

So far, it looks like I'm sharing the Cosmothea universe with 4 others in our upcoming Cosmothea Anthology. I might be bringing on 1-2 more. Time will tell. Obviously, one of the hurdles is awareness. Getting both writers and potential readers aware of just what Cosmothea is. That takes time, but I have high hopes. There's a lot you can do, a lot of cool stories that can be told in this universe I've been developing and running games in these past 34 years. These are exciting times. :D
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Re: Shared Universes

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:02 am

Of course You are very important to Cosmothea too. Just as you took a gamble long, long ago and went and saw Star Wars or read Lord of the Rings, or played D&D, none of which would have amounted to anything without an audience, I can't do this without you either!

I feel we have some solid offerings in the works. They'll take time and money to make them shine and word if mouth to blossom, so as we edge nearer to a Kickstarter and to publishing various products, I encourage you to take a closer look, read the blog and hang out at these forums, toss in your two cents, share in this adventure and come along for the ride. Your investment in Cosmothea and QT Games will likely result in a good time and many pleasant memories in the days ahead!

And as my ego isn't huge like some creators, if you have an idea you'd like to share or would like to get involved in some way (after all, you stand to gain something out of all tis as well, in some ways, more than me), I'd love to hear from you!
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