Shared Universe – Collaboration or no?

What are your thoughts on sharing your story world with other writers? Would you be willing to have another writer co-write a book with you?

If you have a shared story world, would you want separate authors to collaborate or not? Use each other’s characters?

Back in the 80s, Robert Lynn Asprin did a shared universe of Thieves’ World. It was a fantastic bit of writing, and each short story could and did use characters from other writers in the anthologies. The only deal was you couldn’t kill or alter someone else’s character, but other than that, have fun. I recall the names of many of the characters decades later.

That was a collaboration that worked especially well and I’d love to see something similar be published. Shared universe? Sure. Collaborated universe? Yes!

4 thoughts on “Shared Universe – Collaboration or no?

  1. I loaned a main character to a friend for a blog project once. It was a serial and my character became a supporting character in her story. Why not? She gave me credit and exposed me to more readers.


    • You’d trust other authors who did quality work, right? Asprin gathered a bunch of knowns in the fantasy world and gave them a template, a map, with details, and supplied some information about the pantheon of gods, and a little on the government. As I understand it, writers then added their own take on things, and were collaborating in that they knew and used each other’s characters.

      Yeah, that’s a level a trust. Will you use my character in an approved way? Maybe.

      Still, I joy in the thought of creating interactive shared collaborations, rather than books that share the same milieu.

      Liked by 1 person

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