The picture above represents something I'm working on today. I've got to take the information from this electrical schematic (by the way, this is one of fifteen pages for this particular subsystem) and try to break it down into something we can easily explain to our new flight students.
A daunting task indeed. But you know, when you think about it. We, as writers, do the same thing for our readers.
This is one reason I like to outline. Sometimes a story can become so complex that something so simple as hair color, or mannerism can be missed. I just recently acquired an understanding of why people write out character profiles or interviews when working on a work of fiction.
I am one of those readers that takes my time, letting every page settle into my conciousness before going on. Because of this, I often run into small irregularities in the stories of my favorite authors. Of course, this sets me off and taints my ability to suspend disbelief for the rest of the story. I (as I believe most readers) pick up on small differences like a woman who has short bobbed hair in one scene and long flowing hair several scenes later.
So, as writers, we owe it to our readers to take the time and keep good notes so we can take the big picture (like the one above) and simplify just enough so that our readers can gain understanding of the story, while withholding just enough to make them think or throw them off their footing just a little once in awhile.