Here's an experiment for you: I'm going to solicit feedback about two potential works-in-progress without talking about them in detail. Or, rather, without spoiling anything. (It's still early. Forgive me.) The first is a sequel — not a planned sequel, but sequels are like kids, I guess: who plans such a thing? — to The Four-Day Weekend. There was no sequel originally planned, but it looks like I have enough material for that, and maybe one more book, without the whole thing degenerating into a grinding wheel of repetition.
The problem: There is another story I'd very much like to write, a completely different one. It deals with a fellow who drifts by degrees into a syncretic religious community which turns out more and more to have the makings of a cult. As with 4DW, some of this is based on my own experiences but a good deal of it comes from observing folks around me.
Now: This other story could very well be absorbed into this 4DW sequel — made a fully-functional part of it. I'm tempted to do that for the sake of killing a whole flock with one AirSoft BB (okay, strained metaphor, I know), but I'm also not sure that's the wisest approach. It might be best for each story, on its own merits, to get the full telling and complement of conceits that each deserves — even though that means writing two entirely separate books with what might amount to a fair deal of crossover (shilling for repetition) between them.
So, really, that's what this comes down to. Do I tell two separate stories that might well fuse into one, or do I fuse them into one at the risk of being better off writing two?
I hate being vague, but I also hate ruining the fun.