Twenty of Two – The Infamous They – Pt. 1

tree rings image

Tree rings

Long ago I started writing what I hoped would become an interlocking trilogy. Some of you may have heard me speak of the interlocking trilogy before. There are basically two types of interlocking trilogy. The first is the tree ring trilogy. In truth, when writing a tree ring, it doesn’t have to be a trilogy. Each ring completely encompasses the previous ring building on it. While such a tale is a series, it is not serial nor does a reader actually need to read the inner books to enjoy the current. Yes, you write this story from the center ring out. Readers may choose to read it from the outside in or the inside out or they may just randomly pick one out of the middle. While they won’t get quite as much out of it as someone who read from the center out, they will feel they have read a complete story without being cheated. A general series requires you read it in a certain order, but a tree ring series does not. Each story in the tree must occur at a higher level and cover a time span from before until after the next inner ring. Pretty easy to believe one is writing a full on epic by the time they are three or four rings out.

Rubik's cube pieces image

Rubik’s Cube Pieces

A full on interlocking story is a bit difficult to visually describe. There is a single central story but the other stories either rotate around ala Rubik’s cube or or slice through from a completely different viewpoint.

The “slice through” option is pretty easy to describe from a story writing perspective. Let us say you are going to write some epic science fantasy which centers around some great battle or disaster involving many different species from many different home worlds. You can write one small central story about the event which is at the heart of everything then you write one clear story from beginning to end for each species. All the events they know about in their society which helped lead up to the event and how they recovered/survived the aftermath.

While you may think such a story writing technique is insane, that’s exactly how the “cannon fodder” is created for long running science fiction television shows. There is a central event, usually several central events for a seven or more year show, but the language, culture and history of each species gets written independently. Script writers then cherry pick pieces based on time line to generate a script for each show. If you don’t understand that, watch a few seasons of “Babylon 5.”

I got it in my head to try and write one of these just before life got in the way of everything. Yes, I’ve written quite a few other works since then so I certainly could have came back to this tale if I was inspired. It was originally going to be a tree ring. I’m going to chop it up and hand it to you in pieces on this blog. The story is not complete. Until I finish it, this work is just another orphan on the Internet.

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