How Many Story Lines Can You Handle?

When you read books like George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, you notice that there are actually many different stories going on at once.  The book I’m reading now, The Neutronium Alchemist by Peter F. Hamilton, also has many different story lines going through it. But somehow they all connect in the end.

Do you enjoy reading a complex story with many different story threads? Or do these stories confuse you? How many is too many?

How about writing? If you write books like this, how do you keep the story lines straight? How many can you do?

And finally, can you recommend any books that you think does this very well?

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Establishing Atmosphere – A Challenge

Take a look at this picture. It’s in a park not far from where I live. It’s close to sunset, but it’s cloudy.

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Here’s an informal challenge for you. Based on the picture, write a few sentences describing how a character sees, feels, and/or experiences this place. I’d like you to establish the atmosphere.

I look forward to your responses.