Hi Everyone,

(Apologies if this is the wrong place to post - it seemed like the closest fit.)

I've just had feedback from a submission to an agent, who liked the book, but felt that I have too many characters, and that jumping between them results in a disjointedness that stops the reader getting into the story. On reflection, I think this seems fair, so I'm beginning to revise it with their comments in mind.

Now, my issue is that I have various threads. The story is fairly complex (twisty, concept driven sci-fi), and I need to advance different parts of it concurrently. I had thought the best way to do this was to have relatively short sections (on average, 1000 words) and to switch back and fore between character viewpoints (though it's not first person, but limited 3rd person). However, this seems to be what is causing the disjointedness.

So, I just wanted to ask everyone's advice. I've reduced the number of characters from 9 to 6, and am looking to reduce this further (I appreciate that 3 or 4 is ideal, but I'm struggling with that). However, my main question is this: when advancing multiple story threads, is it better to have shorter scenes (e.g. 1000 words) and switch frequently between them, or to combine these into longer sections? Each solution has pros and cons, and although frequently switching between short scenes risks disrupting the flow, grouping scenes together risks losing touch with the other story elements, especially given that some characters/threads are more important than others.

Anyway, what do people think?

Thanks!