Clarkwoods Literary Universe

15 August 2021

Scope

The motivation behind building Clarkwoods Literary Universe

I want to build a world I can write in for the rest of my life, one that blends the tropes of fantasy and science fiction that I love with the real human stories that make me feel all the feels.

The goal of the project

I’m hoping to publish books set in this world until the day I die, books that people will read and enjoy (and maybe even remember after I’m dead and gone).

Clarkwoods Literary Universe's Unique Selling point

The tagline as of November 2020 is “a family saga with hints of magical realism and time travel.” Going forward, I hope to lean into the sci-fi and fantasy side of the world and tweak this. But I’m pretty happy with the existing tagline for now.

Theme

Genre

As of November 2020, the genres are magical realism, family saga, LGBT, and coming of age. But I’m hoping to veer more towards a hopeful post-apocalyptic fantasy full of myths and legends (that’s still plenty queer and mostly focused on families and young/new adulthood).

Reader Experience

It’s a world of deep moral quandaries and nuanced characters that is ultimately hopeful. As bleak as things have been in the past (which is where many of the characters are stuck), the future is rife with beautiful possibilities.

Reader Tone

Having spent entirely too much time this morning looking at charts meant to indicate the differences between noble bright and grim dark, I think the world straddles the line between noble bright and noble dark.

 

If those terms mean nothing to you, think of Star Wars. As Nicholas Johnson writes in his article “Tone and Setting Alignment”:

 

There are people who are both good and evil to great degree, but ultimately the hope wins out and the force brings peace. In a neutralbright setting, people are not basically good or evil, but there are enough heroes and good institutions out there to prevent an apocalypse, even if there might be problems. The world is good because of the contribution of everyone involved.

Recurring Themes

  1. Parents are more complicated than you give them credit for, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.
  2. Whatever happened happened, but you can still learn from it. It can still change you.
  3. Love will never be all you need, but it is pretty nice.

Character Agency

The fundamental law of time travel in the world is that “whatever happened happened.” So, in the CLU the idea of destiny overpowers the idea of free will. But the muddy middle is where the characters have free rein—they may be destined to end up in one place or another, but how they get there is up to them.

Focus

Arts and Culture, especially the impact that focus on creating art has on the lives of creators.

Sexual orientation and the tolerance for orientations outside of societal “norms.”

Destiny vs. Free Will—how much control can any person have in a universe where events seem preordained?

Drama

The fallout of The Great Schism of The Silver Family.

The fallout of Emily Henderson’s reboot of the Clarkwoods Literary Universe into the current Earth-669 iteration.

The continued failure of The Harvest of the Voices.

The murder of Ada Coffin and her subsequent quest for revenge from within the confines of The Strumpet’s Sister.


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