Some time ago I had an idea to start writing a novel set in an alternate history where Hitler is killed in the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. Long story short, the story starts in the year of 1953 with the death of Joseph Stalin, leader of the USSR, one of the world powers. The world is locked in a three-way Cold War between the USSR and the Comintern, the Birmingham Treaty Organization (the equivalent to NATO in this timeline), and the Italian fascists and their allies, and a world war is just looming on the horizon.
The novel itself (or rather, novels themselves) would have chapters happening all around the world. For example, you would have one chapter set in Argentina, or another in the US, maybe in South Africa, Vietnam, or Germany, you get the point. Essentially, I am trying to cover the entire world in this timeline.
I intend to mix two writing styles. Firstly, I want to write in an "encyclopedic" style, if that makes any sense. I want to have most chapters revolving around historical figures and circumstances, like the chapters about the development of nuclear weapons or the start of Julius Evola's coup of Benito Mussolini's fascist Italian government, be written with the style of something you would read in Wikipedia or in a history book for school. Through these chapters I would try to reveal the lore in its majority, leaving action and similar for the following style.
Secondly, the rest of the chapters, centered around the characters of my own, would be regular, old narrative prose, something you would read in most novels.
So, these are my little doubts (if anything is not clear enough, just ask me to clarify):
- Regarding the "encyclopedic" style, I think that it could be felt like the dreaded infodump if done wrong. How would you handle this style so it wouldn't just felt like some glorified infodump?
- I mentioned I aimed to show events all around the world. However, I am kind of worried that I will just carry on with investigations into historical characters and situations when they aren't really necessary. In other words, how do I know when enough is enough? How do I know when there are enough plotlines and characters? How many of them would the reader be potentially invested?
- To combat the issue above, I came up with an idea. I thought about making certain "reading orders", so the reader could just focus on one or many parts of the world at the same time. However, I frankly have no idea on how to organize that. Again, how would you handle/do it?
Thanks in advance.