I'm 80% sure I've made up my mind on this but the 20% is reason enough for me to seek feedback! I'm dipping my toes in fantasy for the first time since I was 7. I'm working on a novel, told from an alternating, limited 3rd person pov. As the story progresses, a wide group of characters come together and get involved in the one event. When it comes to the story itself there are two critical sets of characters, Odo and Samus ('O&S'); and Daniel and Dustin ('D&D'). O&S and D&D start in the same location. D&D are the reader's vehicle into the world, and O&S drive the main plot. The opening chapter(s?) follows D&D and then swaps back between them and O&S via transitionary events (eg. a cart crashing, passing a sign etc [a la 'Mrs Dalloway']) as they go about their business in the same environment. From that introductory phase, O&S and D&D go about their own business/agendas in alternating chapters. Eventually O&S meet Susannah and Guy ('S&G'). D&D eventually meet Yael, Mark and Alexandros ('YM&A'). Due to the actions of various secondary background characters, O&S and S&G wind up needing D&D's help, and D&D wind up wanting to help YM&A. From there on the story continues largely on the same trajectory. Now my dilemma here is that S&G and YM&A are all fairly complicated and interesting characters; the events that lead them to encountering O&S and D&D are compelling, structured and developed stories in their own right (just as O&S and D&D's goings ons before meeting up work as their own stories). S&G and YM&A's stories show more of the world I've created, and the wider macro-social drama that is going on. As those wider scale dramas are driving the plot in their own indirect way, including these stories would provide some valuable context. However, it could also drag down the pacing significantly, and with a pretty tight 3rd person POV on Dustin and Samus and no clear link between these other characters at the beginning, I suspect it could leave the reader wondering where on Earth the story is going and who these other people are. I feel there's also a risk it could be as derivative, based off what I know of George R. R. Martin's work. So, keep the detail or keep the story tight? Let me know if this is too vague to follow, my intent was to spare detail in the interest of clarity. Cheers!