I write standalones. Let me repeat: I. Write. Standalones. Growing up a wide-eyed seagull wrangler, I loved the various trilogies of sword fighting, wicked sorcerers, and dudes in big plate armor. As I grew older, though, I began to lose interest in the 1000pg door-stoppers where we go off into a 100 page subplot that could have been a single chapter. I understand you have this kick ass setting but sometimes I don’t want read about the Zamorians’ dance attire, how it symbolizes their breaking their overlords necks with kung-fu fury, and adopting it as a Capoeiraesque fighting style.
And from this personal pet peeve, I resolved to write mostly/only standalones. There is a power in writing a tightly woven, focused worldbuilding plot and story that tells a single struggle that impacts future books. But it is not the world ending story. It a story that ripples and affects future plots, setting changes, and other elements.
It’s a matter of business as well. I’m an unpublished hack. All of my stories are designed in the way Pratchett designed his. Loosely connected standalones that pick up on a plot element designed/hinted at in a previous novel. It’s also way safer to publish a 120k standalone that might sell poorly and have to move on at a later date.
This is why Dragon Age II and Dark Souls II were great stories/games. They developed out of previous stories without being directly tied to their parent story. It creates a sense of a world beyond the characters, that people’s actions influence and impact each other as well.
That’s my stance and hopefully it’ll pay off. Who knows.