I’ve been neglecting all my “social media properties” because (that’s an official term) I have been head-down in my novel, detangling plot threads and tying up new ones. I’ve discovered a way to keep it all straight, and it comes down to a very old piece of advice:

Keep it simple, stupid.

Yes, the old KISS Principle works when tangling up your novel in nice knots. You must remember that you are going to have to untie it all again, so each thread, in it’s untangled form, must be simple.

It just has the illusion of being complicated.

For example, you have a plot thread that goes like this: A, B, C, D, E.

Another plot thread goes like this: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

A third might be even more simple, !, @, #.

But altogether, it might look like this:

A, 1, B, !, 3, C, 4, @, D, 2, 5, #, E.

So when I am running through the manuscript, straightening up plot threads, I make sure they make sense when in sequence. Because during the story itself, I may have to take it out of sequence, as I did with the numbered thread, above.

A few years ago, I would leave reminders in the manuscript telling me to go back and fix things. However, there was a problem. Very often, I was unable to remember what it was that I needed to fix, or why. And it wouldn’t become clear until I reread the whole manuscript again.

So I fix things right away, nowadays. Using a Word style I created for the purpose, I would leave a bookmark, jump to the spot that I needed to fix, fix it, and then go back and remove my bookmark.

I can anticipate your next question–how do you use Word styles? They are needlessly complicated. I once wrote some instructions, but they are now obsolete unless you still use Word 2003.

I can sense the urge to write another infographic coming on …