I caught Captain America last Friday on its opening day. Marvel has a thing going now. They have broken out of the linear prequel-sequel story lines, and now they have an entire universe to play-in. All of the other Avengers were mentioned in the movie, yet they didn’t appear. At the end of the credits we get a notice, a la James Bond, that Captain America will appear again in Avengers 2.
Actual Comic books made from paper have been doing this for decades. Movies based on comic books have only recently caught onto this idea. I think Disney is also about to take the Star Wars franchise down this road as well, with a new trilogy on the way and then two other side movies in the off years. (As a side note Disney, I am available for any parts…)
But as writers without corporations or committees needing to be appealed too, writers, and indie writers in particular could really do well with this approach. The general wisdom on the street is to write in a series. Well, why limit ourselves to a linear series. Create a single world and write all about it. I have thought about it. I have three books about Kevin. Maybe I could spread the universe out a little and write about one of his friends, and have Kevin be a sideline character. I have no idea what I would do, but again this is a possibility.
Maybe we need to stop thinking linearly, and thinking about whole universes. After all, we create.