1. ymccray91
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    ymccray91 New Member

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    Threading multiple storylines?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by ymccray91, Apr 30, 2012.

    How can I thread multiple storylines successfully? I'm writing a novel with mystery, drama and suspense and I'm trying to thread five intertwining storylines but I'm starting to think that five is too much. The problem is that each story is just as important as the next and I'm not sure if I should get rid of one without messing up the plot. Help?
     
  2. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    If you think scratching one is going to mess up the plot, then don't. And if the five storylines don't work, there's always the backspace button...

    Now, the "how" part of your question I'm afraid I cannot answer, because it's way beyond my abilities.
     
  3. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    There needs to be one that is the primary focus, so you have someplace to pull the others stories to. No focus, no point at which you can bring them together. Characters or storyline has to have some commonality. Places and settings can also be characters.
     
  4. Cerrus
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    Cerrus Senior Member

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    You should read the book, Final Crisis. It's a novel based on a series of DC comic books. It switches to different character's plots a LOT. Sometimes a little too much and it made me a little lost, but it was overall good when it all tied together.
     
  5. CrimsonReaper
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    CrimsonReaper Active Member

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    A few more details would help. Are these storylines all involving the same characters, or is one viewpoint character involved with each and they start intersecting as the narrative unfolds (what one would assume)? If the latter just write the five characters until you get into their mindset and how they would behave in the situation they are in. That will lead to how the stories intersect. Or simply pick the chacter you LIKE THE MOST (regardless of whether you feel they are the most important) and work on that storyline until you see an opportunity for others to worm their way in.
     
  6. Mell
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    Mell Member

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    All I can suggest is reading other books that do this, or even watching movies/tv shows. I find that George R. R. Martin does this very well in A Song of Ice and Fire (just watch Game of Thrones if you're lazy). He manages to entwine all the storylines slowly, and keeps very high interest in all of them.
     
  7. MeganHeld
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    MeganHeld Senior Member

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    Five is a very manageable number of storylines. Like Mell said, George R.R. Martin's novel series has more than five and does it well. If you want to make sure they are not too much you can make them intertwine before the significant part you want. You may not want them to stay completely distant from the other people. As long as you show why they are important to the story I don't think a reader would complain. Just try writing it. Sometimes your feel for the story idea will change once you start writing the plot.
     
  8. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    If these five story lines are integral to the plot then you shouldn't scrub anything. It can absolutely work if you're willing to experiment and go through a fairly rigorous drafting process.

    If you're looking to thread these stories together and they all play their own part in the whole, then you need to find a way to connect them - this can be done through a shared event in the character's lives, an intersection in theme or shared epiphanies. Clearly, if you want them to thread together, they must already share something in common or eventually do. That's what you need to build off of.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  9. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    One thing that is very important to remember if you have more than one plot is each plot should influence the others is someway through out the story. or else the book will feel like it could've been different books even if they are st in the same time and same place.

    as for how to write it. I would say just write it in chronological order first. if two things happen at the same time just cut in between scene or find something else that you like.
     

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