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This is one of the most fundamental, and one of the most recent, lessons I have learned about creating and crafting a fictional universe. You don’t have to write every story, tell every adventure, and show every scene in your writing.

This is perhaps an important lesson when it comes to one thing, prequels. And especially with me, who has a tendency to write every single story plot that pops into my head. Or at least the desire to.

But you do not need to tell the story, you do not need to tell the story of how Shepard became the way she was, or how Kirk rose to Captain the Enterprise.

It’s not leaving these things to the imagination its the simple acknowledgement that an audience does not need to know everything about a character or universe’s back story in order to get that character or that universe.

They do not need to know the history and every single event fleshed out as its own separate idea to know that there is an interstellar alliance that tries to protect the people.

You do not need to tell the story of how a space jacking led a man to become an officer in a Star Navy.

So what than becomes of these story ideas?

Well just because you don’t have to write them, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write them. You can if you want to, as long as you approach it with the idea, is this a story worth telling? Does this story contribute something crucial to my universe or my character to where it needs to be told?

After you answer that question, along with, well do I want to just tell the story because I want to, then do whatever you want.

Other then that this becomes part of an inventory you can always use later. Or even if you don’t use the inventory in the actual story, you know it, you can add it to your list of attributes that make a character, a universe, a Government, a race, an organization.

This inventory, even if not told in a story and thus not known to an audience, it helps you dictate the actions of these people. You don’t have to tell the story, the audience does not have to know the story, for that story to effect them.

And you can always bring it up later and maybe use it for a more proper plot line?

Bottom line, be careful in the stories you want to tell. If you want to be a professional writer, if you want to set up a new universe or a new long-lasting franchise, you have to be choosy about who

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