The thrill of Matriarchal Storytelling is it becomes of symphony where different chords of different stories build up with the tiniest pops and then explode with big bangs, but the kicker is the pops and bangs don’t happen at the same time because it all depends on what stories readers pick and in what order.
Each story has tiny land mines placed quietly in different stories that all go pop, and when a reader has enough pops, suddenly they all,come roaring together with a bang.
And when done right, a new combination will offer other bangs for other series and characters.
That means the re-read value of a single short story increases tenfold.
Because Matriarchal is all about reading from the heart.
It is the difference between a crossword puzzle and a bedtime story: the former loses its appeal when it has been solved. The mind cracked that puzzle, and now onwards to a completely new puzzle, leaving the old one behind.
A favourite bedtime story can be heard every night. You know how it ends. The spoilers aren’t spoilers; they are comforting and loving turns to cradle you to a dreamy state of mind.
The Matriarchal combines the two: it is a favourite story because the meaning of those turns changes if you add a new story.
Because each story opens a door to a new world that relates to the one you are experiencing.
When I wrote the book Chaser, I have markers for short stories related to the Core novel. You don’t need to read them, but you get jolts if you do. Two short tie-in stories: Naked for the World to See and The Gambit Strike, in fact, cover the same story arc of four wealthy serial killers. Yet both tie-ins are Bombshell editions that go in completely different and unrelated directions.
Yet the stories don’t have to be direct tie-ins to get this effect. Chaser, Dr. Verity Lake’s Journey of a Thousand Revelations, I Am Jane Doe: The Quill that tipped the scales, and The World’s Most Dangerous Woman: Better Dead than Red all pull in together to tell a secret story that begins in the 1930’s and ends in the present era. We learn about the origin of a certain cache of disturbing photographs, how they were used and why, with one story only hinting at it. If you read only the Jane Doe series, you are completely unaware of the pictures’ existence; read all four stories and it is a jolt.
It is the way journalists gather information for their stories. The thrill of people following a story is reading, listening, or watching different reports of the same event, but learning different things because different reporters have different sources and found out different things.
That is the beauty of the Matriarchal. We learn to appreciate that different events have different meanings, impact, consequences, and interpretations for different people. We learn to reflect and not just react. We understand how to use empathy in a new way. It is about moving beyond our own world to explore the same things looking through different lens as we see infinite worlds in one.