When big events happen to little people

The beginning of Butterflies is basically four stories that cover the same amount of time and eventually intertwine.  The stories are those of Mara, Andi, and Gretchen, as well as what is going on in the world at large.

The three girls live in different parts of the country.  Until their stories come together, they don’t overlap other than chronologically.  Fortunately, when major things happen, they happen to everybody.

Think about it.  If you were writing the story of three people in the United States with the same requirements, there are events that can link the stories.  A presidential election, perhaps, or a national crisis, seen through the eyes of each character, can help readers fit the stories together.

In the case of these three girls, they are all born during a lunar eclipse, anchoring the stories together.  When they are all four, there is a national celebration that reaches every part of the country.  These kinds of events are a great way to tie the three tales, holding the threads until they braid together later.