Juggling many points of view

by Jeff
(Plattsburgh, NY)

Question: So I've been exploring your site for a while and basically soaking up all the knowledge you have on here for free! It's really incredible for sure.


In my current writing I have what most people would consider high fantasy. I have the story line all planned out, but my question is how do you handle all these separate characters and their stories, while weaving all of them together into one coherent story? I'm not sure if this really falls under plot or character questions. I have about 15 separate characters/story lines (some characters come in a group, like I have a group of three characters who always act as a group due to their back story and also their role in the future) and sometimes I'm not sure I'm weaving them all together very well, but the story is still following the plot in my mind right on cue.

I guess the main question is really how do you juggle many different points of view?

Thanks for the help!

Answer: One way to handle this is to have one main character through whose eyes the story is revealed. The reader only sees what this character sees and follows his/her journey through the story.

Of course, the other characters may still be doing things outside the main character's perception. Much of which is irrelevant to the story, but some is relevant so you still have to know what's going on.

If your plot is progressing well, then you may be doing just fine.

If it starts to get confusing, you might try plotting with index cards. Write each event on a card, and colour-code the cards according to which subplot, throughline, or character arc it belongs. You can arrange all these cards in the order the events occur in the story, but you can also just look at one subplot or one character's arc in isolation to make sure it makes sense.

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