First of all, thanks for taking your time to read this, regardless of whether you provide feedback or not. Now, the dilemma. I'm writing a novel with two of my friends (actually, I'm doing the actual writing, they're there to help me with background stuff and the plot in general), and we seem to have wildly different opinions as to how we should handle the actual storyline (what a shocker...). I believe that we shouldn't focus on a single group of characters, even if they're the main ones. My idea would be to intertwine several "plotlines," as if they were all happening at the same time, and shift the focus with every chapter. For example, in Chapter 1, we see Joe. In Chapter 2, we see Alice. In Chapter 3, we see Alfred. In Chapter 4, we see Joe and Alice. In Chapter 5, we see Mary. Etc, etc. Another one of my friends believes the exact opposite. We should stick to the main characters and avoid any "unnecessary distractions," regardless of whether these distractions are related to the plot or not. My third friend is indecisive. So, I have considered the Pros and Cons of both methods. Pros of Multiplicity: In my opinion, it's more interesting, realistic and (relatively) original. Cons: I will admit that it's highly possible that readers will simply lose track of so many characters, locations, etc. Also, I've heard that it's bad if the readers can't separate the main character/s from the rest of the cast, but I never really understood why. Pros of Focusing: It's easier both on the author and the readers, it's the traditional method, and it allows people to identify with the main characters and develop a bond with them. Cons: It's boring, predictable, self-centered, and I get the feeling that the readers will end up hating the main characters, based on the old saying that "Familiarity breeds contempt." So, o wise forumers, I plead to thee! Dispel any false assumptions, inform me of something I might have missed, relate your experiences and opinions! But please, bereave me not!