Plot, Pacing, and Structure
knitting in subplots
I've had a much needed break from all things writing, and during this break it occurred to me that perhaps I needed the space from my WIP to see what needs changing.
I've had a sort of epiphany, albeit a very small one, but an epiphany none the less.
A subplot has come to me, a long time after I completed the novel. My problem here is that the subplot is so very minor I'm not sure if it's necessary or if it will serve as a distraction to the reader. On the one hand, it could act as a red herring, which would be good as it's a thriller and I hate the idea of readers guessing the ending, on the other, it could mean wasted reading time for the reader.
I'm interested to know how others handle subplots after you've completed a novel, how do you go about knitting them in, how do you ensure you avoid continuity errors, apart from the obvious scrupulous editing, and how do you decide when enough is enough, to put the darn novel down and let it be?
I'm still thinking about tips for weaving in subplots--I'll post any I think of--but in the meantime, I would encourage you to go forward with including the subplot! I say that because I can't think of a single book that doesn't have at least one--even very straightforward contemporary romances have at least one other subplot in the background.
I suppose I need to start thinking about a subplot for my own WIP . . . but I think I will stick to figuring out the main plot for the time being!
Any hints on what the subplot is about, Lucy?
Thanks Lucy. Well, as you know my WIP on this site is a YA thriller. There is already a romantic subplot, which I hope won't take away from the main storyline, but the new subplot might not even be enough to be considered a subplot at all. I'm wondering about including a very minor storyline that will create another suspect for the murders taking place, something that will give the readers something else to think about. But, because the book already has suspects and a lot of new information for the reader to learn about, I don't know if it will be too much for the genre.
I think you're right about subplots though, I'll add it and hope it will add to the tension rather than detract from it. I suppose that the only way I'll know is to write it in and see!
Good question! First of all, I am not an expert on the matter, but from my own reading and sometimes even from watching movies, I think that sometimes subplots can be really interesting and help to give more information about the characters. That said, sometimes they are ANNOYING (all caps for "extremely annoying" ) because they are distracting and don't lead anywhere. I think that if you can ask yourself "does this subplot explain something important about a character or main plot?" and say yes, then do it! It will add an extra layer to your story. If not, maybe leave it out. The last thing you want is for readers to be thinking "...why was that subplot there?!?!" and not thinking about your main plot.
Anyways, I hope my two cents were helpful. Happy writing
Great, I'd love to hear how it works out. Let me know if, at the end of it all, you become the master of sub-plots!