Plot problems with programme solutions!

I’ve spent some time this weekend on the WIP again. I’m up to Chapter 25 which is about 2/3 through the novel, which is great but also more than enough time to start spotting problems in the structure. One issue I’ve noticed is that my story has strong ‘A’ and ‘B’ plotlines that really should have started to converge more by this point in the story when, if I’m honest, they’ve remained pretty close to parallel to each other.

This is a problem because it makes the ‘B’ plotline feel completely unncecessary. It’s supposed to start to align nicely and be the thing that makes the ‘A’ plot make sense at the end, but because I’ve taken too long in forcing the convergeance it doesn’t make the reader care, and we wonder why the characters keep going on about it!

Anyway, it reminded me that this is one of the awesome things about writing in Scrivener. I can just skip ahead and write some later chapters on the assumption that the issue is fixed, and then write a few intermediary ‘convergeance’ steps and then mess around with it all, moving them around on the corkboard to test different orders and different pacings and then see how they land with a quick carefully selected scrivenings sessions (and a dedicated ‘B’ plot collection)!

I’ve been using Scriv for a long time now, and the core features of writing in it have become very transparent to me, at least for day-to-day type writing. It still manages to surprise me, though, with just how helpful it is when I get stuck! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Twenty-five chapters with only the letters A and B? Astounding! This hasn’t happened since ‘E’!

Now that you have mastered A and B, a world of other letters awaits you!

Ah, but do remember not to set your sights too high, my friend. “Very few people in the whole of England ever reach Q.” For that way lies madness.

All of which is to say, it is great to hear the WIP is coming along so well.


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On a practical knot, why do the plots need to intersect?

My life is full of nonsense that causes many folks (mostly my wife) to ask “how is this even tangentially related to ANYTHING?” To which I reply, “I am the only common point.” The more I look around the more I see that in everything around me.

Especially Woody Allen movies. :stuck_out_tongue:

This was the operating thesis of “Seinfeld,” which was in fact somewhat (!) successful.

But in print, I think non-intersecting plotlines gives you linked novellas/short stories, rather than a coherent “Novel.”

I think it all depends on how the linkage is done. Wasn’t there a TV show on NBC a couple of years back that had multiple storylines that slowly got more and more connected, with the exception of one storyline that only got connected in at the end of the season (it took place decades earlier and set up what happened with the other major characters.)

I’m trying to describe what happened without being spoilery (and without having seen it myself, I had friends and family going nuts over it though. The show with Mandy Moore – “This is Us” I think.)

Then there were the films, “Three Colours…” Red, White and Blue, which seemed totally unconnected until you got to the very end of “Blue”.


The movie “Dunkirk” used this technique as well. The three storylines are connected through the setting, but otherwise barely overlap at all.

Cloud Atlas. Just saying…

Meh. Read it, thought it was a bit gimmicky.

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You know these works or series with these large architectural features (postponement!) are in all likelihood still also doing the thing that @pigfender is talking about. So, you take one of the colour films and see that it is built that way, for example. (Conjecture. Haven’t seen them.)

To me, the best educational video ever made concerning intertwined plots, is a South Park episode. (Just pick any.)

I’m serious. There is a lot to be learned from those.