The events described in the last ten chapters of Pareidolia all occur on the same day. This wasn’t a plotting challenge as much as it was a technical nightmare. I was all for describing different events from different character perspectives earlier in the novel, even with a little overlapping thrown in, but this was a whole other level of insanity.
Things forked is what I’m getting at. And the forks didn’t collapse really at all until the very last page, and even then it was just one of like seven forks. Some trailed off and were never heard from again (intentional), some came back like vengeful ghosts and only partially resolved themselves before whispering “or maybe not” (less intentional), and some were abandoned in the editing maelstrom (which both sucked and blew).
In any event it was hard, and I had to break out a spreadsheet to keep it all straight. Here, for those of you who might be interested, is the bird’s-eye view of that day in the last third of Pareidolia. (It may or may not still be exactly correct. I couldn’t bring myself to check.)
I tend to outline until I’m blue in the face and then write myself into uncharted waters, which then requires updating the outline, and so on. My German side likes the well-ordered structure, but of course none of this matters when the literary rubber hits the road.