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ShadowSJG

How do you handle/juggle having a large cast of main characters?

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So for a story I'm writing, I have around 14 main characters(it's a crossover). I was wondering, how can I deal with having this many protagonists, like make sure they all get enough attention, proper character interaction, etc

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My suggestion? Focus on some, ignore others.

Perfectly everyone should have at least little role, but it's better to have story about SOMETHING, with noise in the background, than nothing, just the noise.

I mean, Avengers 1 pulled it out somewhat gracefully, but Infinity War just said "Screw it, Captain America gets small role, Bucky almost non-existent". If they tried to "do justice" to everyone, movie would be terrible or 7h long.

Alternatively look at Game of Thrones.

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Hmm, don't watch game of thrones. Since you are familiar with my writing(done in the style of a show), can I have chapters shift focus on characters?

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On 7/8/2018 at 12:39 PM, MetalSkulkBane said:

I mean, Avengers 1 pulled it out somewhat gracefully, but Infinity War just said "Screw it, Captain America gets small role, Bucky almost non-existent".

Well, what they actually did was make Thanos more the central character of Infinity War given that he was the one out to obtain all six stones—anyone else who was more personally aware of Thanos (Tony Stark, The Guardians, Thor, and anyone else who tagged along with them) or in possession of a stone or it’s location took greater spotlight while others played a periphery role on Earth.

Which leads to the OP—your large cast of characters should be balanced by whomever is the more focal character. This is why we have a protagonist as the lead, while the antagonist gets focus as the one opposing the character.

Another thing you can do is focus on what you want the audience to focus on, and the character who’s point of view you want them to be on.

But avoid head-hopping—pick one character per scene and stick to them throughout that whole scene. If you need an example, look to Sonic Adventure 1 as a good case—if you picked Sonic, you only experience things through Sonic’s path all the way through instead of jumping over to see what Knuckles is doing off in the next city. Of course, SA2’s method isn’t bad either, as it does exactly what i’m saying as well, sticking to one character per important scene unless all of them are in the same proximity.

Hope that helps.

Edit: Also, spliting focus per chapter is a good start if you’re unsure how to balance the cast.

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