Photo by Pixaby
The juiciest parts of any good read for me are the deep characters, rather than the action or plot. Giants, half giants, and (interestingly) dwarves seem to be my long-lived favorites. Fezzik, Hagrid, and Gimli offer glimpses into a reality so odd, so interesting, I wish their stories were deeper (thus my love for The Hobbit). But the best stories for me offer more than one perspective. Not only do we glimpse Frodo and his world of fireside arm chairs, but Aragorn and his genetic guilt, Samwise and his humble strength, and Gandolf and his unceasing curiosity. The more perspective we get, the more we understand about the entirety of the plot.
Any genre is able to offer this kind of multivariate development, two or more characters to bring depth and meaning to the plot. Karenina and Vrosky have equal billing, Squee and Nicholby share (not nicely, of course), Baloo and Bagheera co-host with Mowgli. Without this layering of perspective the stories are flat.
There is much of brilliance in William Carlos Williams' poem The Red Wheelbarrow; the brevity, the sparkle of such vivid imagry, even the form of his words; but less discussed is the shifting perspective.
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
(Williams, "The Red Wheelbarrow," in The Collected Earlier Poems)
Are you a visitor come to the farm? A child, desperately looking for Daddy's wheelbarrow, fearful of a lashing? The farmer, sleepy in the pre-dawn? The farmer's wife, pregnant and hauling chicken feed in the rain? When I first read this poem (or sometime thereafter, I'm not very clear when I first read it) all of these jumped into my head. A photographer, a woman working harder than she should, a frightened child, a man who trips on something left out by said frightened child. Maybe even a giant who alights upon this farm and sees nothing worthy of his compassion. Preparing to demolish everything, it sees a tasty looking wheelbarrow, glistening with pulpy rain, and breaks a tooth on it. He scurries home in pain, leaving the farm to survive another day.
People bring so much to the table of life, each with an attitude and frame of reference that adds to the color and context of a story. Sometimes all a good story needs is an added voice to make it great. Your ideas are always worthy, finding the voices that tell them best is what makes them live.