We cannot think of a parallel as something that is limited to words or sentences and that must be in close proximity with each other. We cannot even think of a parallel in terms of the book that is being examined. We have to think of parallels in terms of relationships between the information being conveyed, organized, and copied. How John created the Ezekiel-Isaiah draft, the Zechariah draft, and the Deuteronomy-Joshua draft are all examples of parallel formation. How John created the encoded parallel with the content from Zechariah 2:1 - 4:14 and Rev 11:1 - 12:17 is a parallel between two works.
Additionally, we cannot think of parallels as contiguous blocks of text that neatly line up with other contiguous blocks of text. Parallels can simply be a set of wax tablets arranged in a particular order alongside another set of wax tablets in a particular order. How John created the two stories of Satan illustrates that not all parallels formed are straightforward.
We have to see parallels as a means of telling a story within a story. Parallel formation is more than making parallels it is a means of telling a story. When the Biblical writers would lay wax tablets side by side to form a parallel they also formed a unique story that could only be understood by reading the parallels. We see this in the marriage narratives found in Genesis-Exodus where the author depicts Moses' marriage in the best light and the farther back in time one goes in Genesis the worse the marriage situation became. We also see this in the story of the fifth church, fifth seal, fifth trumpet, and fifth bowl in the book of Revelation.
We cannot think in terms of “one parallel to rule them all” but in terms of “one parallel that ruled a draft.” Many books show the different ways of outlining the book of Revelation. The reason why Revelation has no single parallel is that it was never finished and also because the former draft’s organizational structures are exposed. Even books published in a finished state will have more than one structure to organize the book. The book of Matthew, for example, is organized by the portrayal of Jesus as the new Moses. Both were born at the time when babies were killed and both were saved in Egypt. Moses was the law giver and Jesus was the law fulfiller. Moses had five books and Jesus had five great sermons. Matthew is organized into a great complex parallel as well. Each of the ways of organizing Matthew was a way that the author of Matthew wrote his Gospel.
Additionally, we cannot think in terms of parallel use being restricted to the actual writing of a work. A parallel can be formed in preparation of a work (we will call this type of parallel a content-preparation parallel). The Ezekiel-Isaiah parallel is a parallel that John formed as a means of content preparation to construct the ZrD. The parallel existed in the form of two columns of wax tablets but not in terms of a physical writing.
Perfect parallels are only part of the story though––it is the malformed parallels that tell us the story of how a work was written. Today, scholars tend to take the safe route by only identifying perfect parallels and not malformed parallels. As a result, malformed parallels are ignored to the point that they cannot exist. Never is the question posed “why are they malformed?” That is because of one common blindness in virtually every book written about Biblical literature––scholars see a Biblical book as being written in one sitting and not as an ongoing process of construction. This type of perspective is extraordinary when you think about it, every work ever written in the field of Biblical studies goes through many iterations and yet for some reason the overwhelming majority of books written do not address the actual process of construction.
Finally, we need to see the big picture of parallel writing. A simple copy of one text is a simple parallel between the text copied and the text written. Overlaying a process or a life story, such as how John overlaid the servicing of the tabernacle onto Revelation or how Matthew overlaid the life of Moses onto the Gospel of Matthew, would be considered parallel formation. How the texts were imported into Revelation has just as much to do with parallel formation as anything else.