I wrote for an anthology recently, and have other anthology projects simmering on the back burner. The following question has arisen for me.
When reading (or writing!) for an anthology, which do you prefer?
A) Each story brings its own unique setting,
B) The stories take place in a shared world,
or variation #3,
C) If a shared world, there is crossover between characters and events, as in the old Thieves’ World series which pioneered that style.
If I’m writing for an anthology, I prefer to explore a setting of my own creation, because this lets me flesh out the worlds that otherwise only appear in my books. (Although, the right shared world setting would interest me, I think.) But if I’m editing an anthology, or writing for one I’m putting together, I like the shared world concept – again, because it lets me flesh out settings that hold some special interest for me.
So, if I have a horse in that race, I’m pretty clear where I want to go with it.
But – what about you? I’m interested to hear what other writers and readers of anthologies think about this setting issue. Do you have a strong preference one way or the other? If you’re a writer, do you find you muster more enthusiasm for a setting of your own design, or do you fall in love with the shared world and want to play there? If you like shared worlds, do you also like playing with other writers’ characters, and likewise letting yours be used by others to some extent? If you read shared worlds, does it add to your enjoyment to have character cross-over between stories?
Any other thoughts on the subject?
Please weigh in in the comments section below. Thanks!