There’s something really satisfying about a book that ties up all of its loose ends. A book that has threads going in forty different directions, but somehow they all meet up again, just in time for a denouement (you remember denouement from “J is for Jargon”, I hope!), leaves me with such a feeling of contentment that I’m practically cuddling the book by the end (The False Prince comes to mind, just from this year).
Of course, those threads (which I’ll be going into later, in an upcoming A-Z post) are really hard to fully manage, especially when you start getting into the overly involved worlds of genre fiction. Copious notes are required, and several eyes that don’t remember the whole story like you do. Even experienced writers have to be careful… just look at these plots notes taken by James Southall Wilson of the Virginia Quarterly Review and J K Rowling, of Harry Potter (which need not be mentioned, I know, but I like my sentences to be balanced, okay?)
I feel more like Wilson than Rowling. Despite my best attempts to make something organized, the moment there is space on the page, or it seems to flow too well, my brain decides to add another layer, another theme, because it doesn’t seem ‘complicated’ enough for a fantasy epic. I think this is compounded by the fact that I have been developing and ‘playing’ around with these characters casually for almost four years, and am only now translating their story to paper. In some cases, the characters in my casual universe are already dead, and I’m having to go back to the beginning. My brain rebels quite a bit to that.
And then there’s the time paradoxes that result from altering even that tiniest thing in their past, but I won’t get into that today, haha.
How do you keep track of all of your odds and ends? I use Scrivener and a binder that is thoroughly color-coordinated. Highlighters and colored pens also are important.