So for a while now I’ve been posting writing tips when I feel I’ve mostly mastered them. I’ll share what I’ve learned and share so the squeaky new writer can read my posts (along with others) rather than starting from scratch. I did the starting-from-scratching thing and it was hard; mostly because, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And the list was a long one.
Now I’m in the middle of my writing adventure (career) and it looks very similar to the middle of the three-act-structure. What I’m getting at is that ‘the middle’ is the biggest section. Anyway, I’m in the middle. I know somethings and still need to learn a lot about the craft. Some days I think I’ll never get out of the middle and I’m mostly okay with that. But each time I make a discovery I pursue it and store it away for reference.
Today I researched Subplots.
I have only written shorts for publication. So how to do I jump from shorts to full length novels?
Add more words.
Right, but isn’t the main plot defined as a protag striving for a goal and antag attempting to stop him.
If this is true, and I believe it is, how do I add more words without bogging the story down?
What are subplots?
Before I researched, I thought they were secondary plotlines based on the supporting characters.
This is true, but there is so much more.
When you read a series, the subplot is what links the books together—common characters, location, or events. Additional plotlines humanize the characters by giving them their own character arc. They can clarify motivations, deepen tension, and interfere or complicate the protag achieving their goal.
If plot is a section of fence, the subplots are the vine(s) that grow upon it. Together they are stronger, more vines, more color, more intertwined action. It can be beautiful from afar and very complex under closer scrutiny. This apparently makes for a great novel.
Easy peasy? I don’t know, but I have a general idea of what I need to do. Is there anything you’d like to add? I’m all ears, and would love to hear from you.