So, I’m writing a scene in which Julia is conflicted about how far she should go to find the answers she’s looking for. She’s finally gotten the courage to ask when, of course, she’s foiled by someone else entering the scene. Don’t you just hate that? Ha! What a wonderfully sinister device.
I don’t plan on arguing the merits of stringing readers and characters along this way (but feel free to do so in the comments). I noticed that, when Character Interuptus entered, Character Informus just shut up and sat in the corner. Thinking through all of the Julia scenes, I realized that very few have more than two characters in them. And if there are three, one shuffles away pretty quickly. Apparently, I have a problem wrangling characters. It’s not like I’m trying to herd cats or anything. My characters are normally well behaved and do what I say. So, what’s my problem?
Really, I’m asking. That wasn’t rhetorical. Other writers seem to do it without a problem…and, of course, I’m drawing a blank when thinking of examples. After conjuring the books I read most recently, it seems that I lean towards loner fiction. The main character is out there by herself, fighting the good fight, but there are the occasional scenes where Ms. Loner actually interacts with more than one person at a time.
But I know that books in which multiple characters interact with each other on multiple occasions do exist! Can you think of any masters of the mulit-character scene that I should study?