Should Author’s Want a Legacy?

This is something that I seem to be at odds with when I bring it up with other authors.  I might just be explaining things wrong.  Then again, I might just have a different goal when it comes to my books.  At least, I used to, but we’ll leave that for another time.

Long ago, I dreamed of creating a fictional world for people to visit and play in.  This was going to be done through my books.  I even thought that I could open Windemere to guest authors once I established enough of it.  That or it could become a playground for other authors after I died.  This stemmed from reading about worlds that were crafted by multiple authors.  You had the Forgotten Realms (D&D), Oz, and the Extended Universe of Star Wars.  Of course, that wasn’t the main point, but it touched on the core of what I was trying to achieve.


I really thought I could publish enough books and get enough fame to create an author legacy.  Legends of Windemere kicked things off with a foundation and then I would build from there.  Some books touched on the past while others introduced future heroes.  I have books that flush out organizations and others that change the dynamic of Windemere through grand events.  I’d craft such a vivid tapestry of stories that it would all exist and continue after I was gone.  You can tell I wanted to create something like Middle Earth or Narnia.  I mean, people remember those worlds and they’re going to continue being remembered for many years.

Of course, it’s not easy to do and I lack the funds/contacts/time/everything to pull off that kind of stunt.  Yet, I still would like to achieve it.  Maybe that’s why I keep writing books even though I can’t even publish right now.  (Need a cover artist.)  There’s always a chance someone will find the books and they’ll see some merit in them.  Of course, that’s only gaining one fan.  Is that enough for a legacy, especially if it doesn’t go any further?  I don’t think so because legacies tend to be grander.  At least from what I can tell.

There are days when I wonder if I simply don’t understand the concept.  This becomes really true when I find that some other authors don’t get what I’m talking about.  It turns into a ‘Tower of Babel’ scenario in my mind.  We were speaking the same language, but now we don’t understand each other.  It turns into me trying to explain what my aspirations are and the other person trying to tell me that I should be happy enough with what I get.  This results in frustration on my end.  Not sure what it does to the other person because the conversation basically cuts off.

So, what do other people think about creating a legacy?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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14 Responses to Should Author’s Want a Legacy?

  1. L. Marie says:

    I wonder if Tolkien or C.S. Lewis or Gene Roddenberry thought of themselves as leaving a legacy, though writers after them picked up the mantle and wrote stories either inspired by their work or set in their created universe. (I think of Gene Roddenberry especially.) I can’t say I know if they did or not. George Lucas certainly seemed to invite others to produce stories set in his created universe. I love the idea of leaving a legacy. It makes sense that you would want that for Windemere. It means you see it as something that will outlast you. The founding author of Oz certainly left a legacy with authors writing Oz books many years after his death. And Jane Austen’s books continue to inspire authors to take her characters and run with them.


  2. An author’s legacy would be great, but it seems to be a hard thing to achieve. I would like more people to read my books but beyond that, I think a legacy is beyond reach.


  3. V.M.Sang says:

    I think I understand what you are getting at, Charles. It would be nice to create a world like Forgotten Realms where other authors could write their stories. But would you be remembered, or just your world? Who created Forgotten Realms?
    Oz and Middle Earth seem to me to be different because we know who created them, and I am unaware of other writers’ writing in those worlds. Star Wars, I think is different because it’s a film franchise, and people remember the actors and directors, but not so much the writers.


    • Forgotten Realms was always a group creation. There never seemed to be a solitary progenitor. Oz has had many writers in its world, but most only know of the original because that’s the story most movies and shows go to. Star Wars is actually more than the movies and shows. People in that genre and fandom know many of the authors, especially the guy who killed Chewbacca.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a wonderful idea and many of us would love something similar. This is one of the things about artistic endeavors, we aren’t in charge of that happening. We write the stories, craft the worlds, and mix them together as best we can. It’s up to others whether they go viral or not. It’s similar to a bestseller with a film deal. We would love for that to happen, but it’s largely outside our control.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For myself, I’m more focused on my skill being recognized in the present than on any future recognition. But, in this present, I’m trying to put out ideas that will make people think differently about what kind of world we want to live in. So maybe I am actively trying to build a legacy after all.


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