Monday, June 29, 2009


I love subplots. I love reading them and writing them and watching them on television. I think they should be approached with a degree of caution; you don't want to distract from the primary plot for too long, you don't want to inflate your book with fluff, you don't want to add too many extra pages to your book. That being said---they're just fun. Things I like about subplots: When it seems there's no resolution in sight to the primary plot, there's usually a steady and easily-seen process toward resolution for the subplot (every time it's introduced, something has changed.) It's a good way to introduce a different element to a particular genre (introducing romance to a thriller/mystery, introducing a puzzling mystery to a non-mystery, etc.) Sometimes I like to connect my subplot with my main story at the conclusion of the book (I've done this with my current WIP.) Maybe something the reader thought was completely an auxiliary strand ties in with the plot in a surprising way--my subplot in the current WIP, that seems totally unrelated, plays a part in saving the protagonist's life. In some cases, the subplot can affect the book's outcome. It adds another layer of intrigue to a book---something else the reader wants to see resolved. I'm careful not to add too many subplots---I don't want to create confusion over the real thrust of my story. But frequently, I enjoy writing my subplots most of all.