Big Conflicts and How Much Characters Actually Know

What’s going on in the Middle East right now? I don’t really know. I could find out. Reading news articles and books or interviewing a few people would give me a general idea.

How much does an average person in Palestine know, or someone in Israel? Certainly a whole lot more than me. But I would guess that many on both sides don’t know exactly what’s going on either.

What I’m trying to point out is that there are few if any people who know everything happening on all sides in a political conflict. Most people are not affected directly and/or hear skewed reports. (We tend to get a bigger picture only in the aftermath, like when we found out what Hitler was up to after WWII. And you know what? I bet even WWII historians still don’t know everything.)

Does any one of your characters have all the puzzle pieces? I’m inclined to say he or she shouldn’t. If the reader ever gets a full view of the political conflict, it is usually through multiple points of view.

I think Brandon Sanderson does a good job of this in the Mistborn novels. The characters end up taking two books to figure out everything involved in the political conflict of the first book.

Just some thoughts.

Happy Yarning!

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