Saturday, May 13, 2017

Putting Together a Brand Franchise

Earlier this week, over at the main blog, I posted about an idea I had in the wake of digging Super Robot Wars V. This is how I would use the idea for the purpose of writing fiction.

It starts as being similar to how I would use it for gaming, but it quickly diverges. The purpose for gaming is to set up a meta-framework for campaign play; the purpose here is to set up Shared Milieu.

You still have Civilization vs. Empire (Law vs. Chaos) as your overarching theme, personified by the Lensman and his enemy counterpart, but after that it's wide open. Were I so fortunate as to have the blessing of the Smith Estate, I would gladly do this openly to establish a franchise that starts with stories ostensibly in separate and distinct genres, but slowly merging over time to mashup into a complete and coherent whole- in effect undoing the splitting and ghettoization of SF/F that happened when the Pulps fell.

I don't, so I'll have to find ways around that to get what I want out of such a structure. An idea like this has an eye on building a brand and a franchise with it, over the long term, something I think a lot of authors in fiction don't think through and suffer for it should they get anywhere (including selling adaptation rights). Most reading this may not realize it, but that is what Marvel Comics and D.C. Comics accidentally created (themselves iterating on Street & Smith's The Shadow, who created all of the core superhero tropes that all of superhero comics use to this day).

In time, this would be something I'd put into my estate (i.e. in a family trust) so that it could continue to produce revenue for my future beneficiaries. (The risk, of course, is that post-mortem installments go the way of Disney's take on Star Wars and just produces sanctioned fanfic. (That can be worked around, but you need a good legal construct for it.)

There is NO attempt at Literary Realism. If I want anything like that, I'll do it as wiki articles; there's no audience for it, and therefore no one willing to pay me to write it. This is a structure for proper pulp stories, the way they used to write, with an eye towards allowing awesome big stories like the aforementioned game. (And it is; at the least, watch some playthroughs and see how they not only blended the narratives of the mashed up shows, but also added the united original elements that ties them all together. Brilliant work.)

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