In a post from back in March, I bemoaned my inability to write scenes with more than two active characters.
While I knew they existed, I couldn’t remember the titles of any books that handled more than a few characters at a time.
And now I’m reading War & Peace. Tolstoy liked introducing gobs of characters all at once and then move them into smaller groups for more intimate tete-a-tetes. Note to self: NOT the way to do it.
I haven’t figured out who’s who before we move into the more intimate scenes, so I think I’m getting to know A, when in truth, I’m learning more about B. Arg. Better to start small, then go big…if I go big at all.
I’m working on a family scene for Julia…three people in the room at once. Not exactly swarms of people, but enough that Julia’s mother keeps dropping out the scene. I’ve given her a glass of whiskey to swirl and stare into, so if she’s not active there’s a liquor-soaked reason. However, I do want her to jump in every once in a while so readers don’t forget she’s there.
This article about TV not translating to the page makes me feel better about having trouble with multi-character scenes. I guess my desire to have rooms full of characters is my couch-potato self talking.
Still, three characters should be do-able. It’s time that I lock the liquor cabinet and get Mom moving.