The Expanding Worlds in Entertainment

Whether it’s film, literature, or even music, a connected series of content is always something people can admire from a creative standpoint and simply for entertainment. There’s something about a story that extends over multiple iterations of itself that adds more content, more meaning, and more passion that we love to consume. Again this happens with all forms of entertainment media however, for this blog post, I will be focusing on this concept for fiction writing. The first couple of things that come to my mind when I think of these immensely large, complex, extended stories are the marvel cinematic universe and the harry potter series. These two series of entertainment have multiple movies/books that begin a story, give it an ending, but also build up suspense and conflict for a bigger story. Each iteration of the series adds more details, conflicts, world-building, and characters that lead the audience to a bigger story. One thing I think is essential to these extending stories is world-building. Creating a unique world that the audience can see as real and creating a world that the readers can get lost in really keeps the readers invested and wanting more from the bigger story that is in the making. Obviously, this is an important aspect however, I believe the characters are as well. A lot of the time these expanding stories will include a hint or foreshadow a character at the end of each new iteration in the series. The peak at this character or sometimes characters will tease readers and draw them in because they are dying to find out more about who this or these characters are. Besides showing up at the end or at some point in the story for a short period of time in order to foreshadow their bigger role in the story, small hints of these characters can show up in the story to create speculation and suspense for future iterations. These characters are often antagonists or a protaganist that the audience did not expect. This kind of storytelling keeps readers at the edge of their seat after each iteration of the book because they are looking forward to more of the foreshadowed story that follows each iteration. The audience wants the next piece to the puzzle and each time a new entry to the series arrives they get closer to the bigger story they know is coming. A unique way to do this expanding story over a series concept is to have two or more stories that are set in the same world and have them intersect. I think this is a great way to do it because you could have fans of one story becomes fans of the other if in the third iteration of the series these stories combine together. If done in a creative way, this could be extremely exciting. As someone that enjoys when a series does this very much, I love it because it allows me to speculate with others about what we think will happen, what we think won’t happen, what we want to happen, and etc. Sometimes the speculation can be the best part, although the story may not reach your expectations, it’s still something fun and entertaining that comes with this form of storytelling. It takes a lot of people and a lot of effort to put these incredible expanding stories together, one of the main concerns that could come from this is continuity errors. When making a story on a grand scale that expands over multiple iterations or even the same story just from a different perspective could cause continuity errors. If you look deep enough in these stories it’s inevitable to find a few but they are avoidable however, it’s close to impossible to create a world that extends over many iterations of a series without any continuity errors. I can imagine the stress that goes into each work to avoid these plot holes and continuity errors, but this doesn’t take away from the significance of the story most of the time if done properly. Creating connecting stories over a series of iterations is a very ambitious, incredible way of storytelling. If done correctly, these stories will be extremely successful and be significant to the target audience. These are the kind of stories that really make readers feel and care about what’s going on in the story because they have been invested for so long and speculating what could happen after each iteration. Personally, these are my favorite kinds of stories and although they may take a while to really become invested, I recommend getting into them.

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