Focusing on different characters at the same time
Question: I've been writing a story, and I've made a lot of characters. Each character has to be someone the reader knows- even if it's not a very important person. There's gonna be battles and things like that on the plot, so that makes the names and personalities important. The problem is--every single time an important event happens, the writing feels... rather "lost". Example: That teacher is hurt and three people are worried and one loves her and I want to throw hints of romance; at the same time, other 3 characters also need attention to tighten the plot and show their emotions. So, the reader, even myself, ends up confused about what character does what and what's going on. At the same time, if I don't talk about every character's situation, it will ALSO get strange and confusing, like it's incomplete. Is there any way I can try focusing in all characters in a less confusing way?
To focus on multiple things at once is a contradiction in terms. Either you're focused, or you're not.
It's important to write your story from a specific point of view (POV). Most of the time, that means picking one main character and telling the story from that person's perspective. The reader will be privy only
to that person's thoughts and feelings (since your main character cannot read minds). The main character can perceive other people's actions, speech, facial expressions etc., which can indicate their state of mind. But the main character can also misinterpret.
The alternatives are...
1. To write from an omniscient perspective -- which may be considered the writer's perspective on the story. This allows you to transcend the point of view of any one character.
The trade-off with an omniscient perspective is that it makes it harder for the reader to imagine him/herself in the shoes of any one character, which means less of an intimate, emotional connection.
2. To use multiple POV characters. Note that you should not switch POV characters within a scene because it destroys the reader's sense of being one character in particular. Also, the more POV characters you have, the less of a connection the reader has with any one character.
If you decide to use multiple POV characters, you still should not switch points of view within a scene. Your POV character may see other characters react in ways that convey what's going on inside their heads, but cannot describe anyone's thoughts and feelings other than his/her own.
For a more complete discussion of this, you might check out this article...