Ohai thar. Disclaimer. Sorry for being vague, I'm just trying to operate on a very general level without bringing in any silly details of magic or other nonsense that might detract from the theoretical issues I'd like to address here. Good lord that was a long sentence... Deep breath... On that note, if people do have a point to make and would like more information, please say so and I'll try to elaborate. The genre is fantasy, however. Okay. I have recently developed a setting which, for now, has roughly 5 influential institutions of political power. Don't think nations, think uhh, generic fantasy political institutions. Groups. Like, guilds, or political parties, or cults. Now, I intend to build a plot in which a group of friends, the size of which is yet to be determined, are to navigate in a setting that is by definition riddled with tensions between these 5 political institutions. They will have to balance living their personal lives & taking a position in wider, political issues and surviving the repercussions. What I'd like are ideas, musings, suggestions regarding the following. I realize this might seem silly not knowing any details, but humor me (or tell me this whole 'keeping it general' idea is stupid and ask for more info). I'd like a preference, what would you like to read about, what's more interesting, instead of 'well it depends on the details' kind of answers (although those are welcome too, I won't say no to any input!). So, here we go. Issues/Options I have been pondering: Do you think I should I focus more on the troubles of the characters, or the conflicts between the 5 institutions? I tend to veer towards the latter, since I am much better when it comes to writing a large setting (ie. conspiracies, what have you) than I am with plot involving the gripes and moans of individual characters... I am thinking of doing both, since I have multiple characters - But where should the emphasis be, the conflict within the system, or the story of the characters? How influential should I make the characters compared to the institutions? Think of it like a continuum, on one end of which lies the characters' decisions affecting the fate of the entire system - and with the system largely ignoring their dreams and wishes, and using the characters to their own ends on the other. How massive should the conflicts between the 5 escalate to? Open war that leaves everyone devastated, or minor disputes that are solved via debate? I may add more. Suggest your own points if you think you have other points for me to consider!