Writing an Ensemble

no word counts

With the success of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, I’ve been thinking a lot about ensembles in stories. Most of the things I write tend to feature a fairly large group of characters at its core, so it was great to watch a movie that did an ensemble right.

Stories are all about character, and that’s Guardians secret. Every online reaction I’ve seen focuses on how much they loved Groot, or how great Rocket is, or how surprisingly great Drax is, etc. It isn’t, “Oh, the explosions were so well-rendered. A+”

If stories are all about characters, stories with ensembles are one of the most satisfying types when they’re done correctly. Because they don’t just give you one or two characters to love — they give you a whole group of them. Teams, crews, posses, miscellaneous rogues in a loose collective. . . Ensembles provide a smorgasbord of characters.

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