The challenge with Ilustrado's structure was twofold. First was how to keep the many narrative threads together. I attempted cohesion by having themes recur across all the threads, in the same way a piece of jazz or classical music will use recurring motifs, played by different instruments or sections, for shape or direction. Ilustrado deals with exile, heroism, the relationship between children and those who raise them, nationhood, responsibility, faith, and literature. These themes recur across the different narrative threads, in an attempt to tie them all together. Second was the challenge of how to keep track of all these fragments in my head. At first, my method was haphazard. I'd cut and paste a fragment and move it around, shoe horning it where I intuited it might fit, and then revising it so it flowed better where it lay. This way didn't work well. So I devised the system pictured below.