Is there a name for the technique where a writer introduces several separate characters, develops each character's plot line separately - perhaps in separate chapters - and gradually weaves them together?

I first became aware of this thirty years ago in Iain Banks's "Walking On Glass" - which is so extreme it's almost a parody - and he used it many times subsequently.

3 Answers 3


It's called a "braided novel" or "braided narrative", because you have several points of view, or storylines, merging into a whole later on.

For example, George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones books are like this.


It seems as if you are describing a story like Les Miserables which has various subplots, but it main thread is the story of Jean Valjean, which is like a story within a story Is this the type of story you are going for?


I just read a book called "Mrs. Queen Takes the Train," a little "what if" about Queen Elizabeth. Before the story comes together, we get the stories of six different household retainers and other people, and it only becomes a united story about halfway through the book.

It's a delightful little fantasy, by the way --

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