This post is coming up thanks to my finishing Ugly Love because I could not stop thinking about how well Colleen Hoover made use of it in that book.
Parallelism is used for a grammar technique but also as a writing technique. And yes, today in my explanation, there is a difference. It’s also when two different situations parallel with each other, they’re similar and/or have the same motifs, ideas and/or meanings.
As an example I’ll use Ugly Love. Hoover wrote the book with one chapter in the present in Tate’s perspective and the following chapter in Miles’ perspective, the love interest. For me, what I loved was the parallelism between these two characters as they fell in love at completely different times in their lives and how it went for them. It was two worlds seamlessly combining together to form a better, more unique picture of love, loss and recovery. And I can’t forget when Hoover brought together two sides of the story (trying to avoid spoilers) into the same kind of recovery and characters returning to being whole as individuals.
In writing, as a result, I think it’s something key. It’s a way to get your readers involved, which is of course always the ultimate goal. In Ugly Love, I had moments where I literally sat back in my chair, head hanging backwards absorbing moments in the story I had just realized paralleled each other beautifully and heartbreakingly.