In these chapters I’m having several stories progress simultaneously. This is challenging for a few reasons: First of all, events that occur in one story effect the others. I will have to make sure these timelines match up.
Second, I want to make each story progress for a satisfying amount of time before I switch over to a different one. I hate it when the point of view keeps changing so fast that it seems as though nothing of importance is conveyed. Anyone keeping up with One Piece may know what I’m talking about; some chapters seem to do nothing but “check in” with the seven groups of people running around.
Fortunately for Oda, AUTHOR OF ONE PIECE!, he didn’t start doing this until his story had been running for fifteen years. I know the characters, I know the score, and I’m willing to wait it out as the master plan comes together.
I’m the same way when I’m writing; I would not want to pull this kind of stuff in book one. I think switching around between characters before you even know who they are is tedious. I’ve seen some authors do this, though! Can you believe that? There was this one time I started to read a book called A Game of Thrones. Every early chapter was about a different guy! I’d start to get invested in dude number one and then–BOOM! Perspective would switch to someone else. It would leave me hanging before I even had a reason to care about the person being left behind! I couldn’t stand being introduced to new characters only to switch just as things were getting good. I put that book down and went to play Baten Kaitos for the third time instead. Now THAT is a masterpiece of storytelling:
I can only assume that everyone else who read that Thrones book felt the same way. That poor writer, whatever his name was. Continue reading