juggling threads

I’ve been avoiding it for a year now, but today I finally made the timeline of my novel.

This of course spawned a dozen lists, mostly under titles like, “Don’t forget!” or “To Write” or “To Develop.”

The trouble with writing a novel with multiple main characters (3 or 4 or 6 — yes, it varies as I change my mind) is that each has to have his or her own plot, complete with beginning, middle, and end, and, if you’re really ambitious, subplots. They have their own conflicts, interactions with a separate group of minor characters, and all of these things overlap. AND, they’re constantly changing.

So imagine that you’re juggling three balls of yarn. If you catch one the wrong way, it starts to unwind. If you’re too rough on them, the yarn starts to unravel. If you drop one, you’re just a moron throwing around two balls of yarn.

This is not (in my meager experience) unlike writing a novel: it is extremely challenging. Looking over my little timeline, I realize just how many of the balls have started to unravel. However, part of the fun is going back and rewinding those balls… Okay, that part’s probably not fun if you’re actually juggling the balls of yarn, but the metaphor only goes so far.

The point is, I’m enjoying the challenge, and I’m slowly learning how to keep all my balls tightly wound and in the air. So to speak.

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