1. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    How many characters would you invite to a dinner party?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by deadrats, Aug 4, 2016.

    What's a good number of characters to have in a story about a dinner party? Is a dozen too many? A half a dozen? It won't be much of a story if I go too low. I want the entire story to take place at the dinner party. Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks.
     
  2. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that six is as low as you can go and still call it a dinner party; four is just having friends around; and one just DOESN'T have an ODD number at dinner, oh dear me, no!

    As far as how high you can go, the Queen appears to have had thirteen at her recent state dinner for the Chinese president (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11941937/Chinese-president-Xi-Jinping-begins-UK-visit.html) although the list of thirteen doesn't appear to include all of the guests who get mentioned, so God knows how many!

    A dozen is a lot (although Agatha Christie had ten for And Then There Were None/Ten Little Niggers, and G.K.Chesterton had a dozen for The Queer Feet in The Innocence of Father Brown http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/innocence/qrfeet.html ) for a writer to handle; it would also be a bit of a bugger to cater - you might consider outside catering and waiting staff, rather than having Mrs. Robinson doing all the cooking and serving; that, at least, is what Chesterton did.
     
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  3. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    This is a tricky one. I always seem to have trouble figuring out just how many characters I can have in the same scene without confusing the reader. I would love to hear from some more of you as well. Either from those of you who throw smashing dinner parties or have any tups for handling a large cast of characters in this kind of setting. Also, in a dinner-party situation or something similar, are you more likely to go with an onmi POV or close third?
     

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