Numerous pieces of writing? Can’t tie them in together?

Having many pieces of writing won’t be a problem for all writers. Some plan on single projects at a time, or focus intensely on research and planning before embarking on any form of prose. Then there are those, like myself, who conjure a lot of different writings up, but can struggle to develop these writings into a story or link them together into series, if they are similar. Sometimes different writings are just different writings, and may require a rewrite or significant changes in structure to come together in a logical coherent way.
I’ve stumbled across this problem with my new unpublished Marcellus series, where these new projects don’t quite mesh with already-published novel Marcellus: The Mantle. The Mantle is set in the solar system and is first-contact sci-fi (sound familiar?) while my new series has no relevance to the solar system or humanity. There are completely different characters in The Mantle, and in this even the identity of Marcellus is a mystery. As opposed to my new series that is mostly from Marcellus’ point-of-view. However, the problem is that I’m very attached to some of the ideas in The Mantle, and fitting it into my new series like a jigsaw puzzle doesn’t make obvious sense at this stage. It took an alarmingly long time for me to reach the conclusion that I should be looking to incorporate “specific” ideas from The Mantle into my new Marcellus series. This of course meant not directly linking them together, at least until events transpire where such a link would make sense, so distancing them is my strategy for the time being.
It’s also useful to speak to somebody you know or trust about your world or ideas. They can help bring an outsider’s perspective, and make you see your strengths and shortcomings. It can also help you to describe, and therefore understand your story better. My brother, who knows his sci-fi and fantasy very well, helped me see that Marcellus: The Mantle could be a spin-off to my series that hasn’t been published yet. Through his help, I also came to realise that I focus almost exclusively on Marcellus’ point-of-view and personality in my unpublished Marcellus novels. Where other characters come in, they are mainly used to infuse conspiracy, action, or otherwise move the plot forward. It may also be important, if I am to successfully continue with Marcellus, to bring in an important new and interesting character…
I hope this has helped you come up with strategies to tie in similar writings, and that this particular problem does not worry you to a great extent.

Marcellus: The Mantle

Marcellus (unpublished)

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Earth – Last Sanctuary by Christian Kallias – 5/5 Stars

Earth Last Sanctuary Christian Kallias
(Universe in Flames #1)

Earth — Last Sanctuary is the first in a science-fiction space-opera series where pilot Chase is the main protagonist and must use his incredible piloting and strategic improvisation to survive the decimation of the Star Alliance by the Obsidian Empire. The immediate parallel to make is with Star Wars, but don’t let the terms put you off, for there were many resonating influences that shaped Earth – Last Sanctuary: Independence Day, Star Trek Original Series (in that there was a protective moralist deity); and maybe there were ideas borrowed from the Serenity film or Farscape series.

I liked the moral thread running through the novel, of letting go of money, fame, and lust for power and to embrace foremost the development of the human race through technology. This ideology was a prerequisite for eliminating poverty, to cure illness, and save the environment. Its idea does stem from the basis of putting the needs of the many above the needs of the few, but the author delivered this new ideology in a convincing way.

My analysis was extremely positive. I loved the connection between characters Chase and Earth pilot Sarah Kepler and the way Alliance technology was introduced in a simple and yet absorbing way. It made perfect sense why the Alliance would be as developed economically and militarily when compared with what Chase sees as “human recreational activities”, which involve movies, sex, and food. In this way Earth seems to have prioritised the development of entertainment. Because Chase’s point-of-view showed he didn’t at first understand human indulgences, and for all his similarities to humans in language and appearance he was emotionally detached. This made me empathise with the author’s message, seeing the setting as a bridge that must be crossed for human and humanoid happiness.

Minor criticism: there were a few instances in the final space battle that were reminiscent of the attack on the Death Star in Star Wars A New Hope, and a single line “They’re up to something, I can feel your presence now”, made me think I knew where the series was going, however the author dispelled such notions at the end.

The dogfights were astounding, the space battle strategy imaginative, and there was a conceivable chance either side, Alliance or Empire, could have prevailed. There were easily relatable characters, a writing style that makes otherwise complex terms easy to digest and understand. Some of the writing, especially when Aphroditis spoke, was so impassioned, I felt the words speak to the soul, the writing was that powerful. It was as if I was there! Don’t turn Earth – Last Sanctuary down if you see it anywhere. Actually, if you’re reading this review, download or order it now and begin reading. You won’t regret it.

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