Saturday, February 20, 2010


Brassai LeChatBlanc 1938 PompidouCenter-Paris I have a subplot in my current WIP that wants to take over the world.

In the same WIP, I have a small subplot that stays meekly in its place.

Subplots are a lot of fun for me—I enjoy both reading them and writing them. It’s nice to have a short break from the main plot every once and a while and take a breather.

But problems pop up when subplots get ambitious and want to take over my novel.

They do have their uses, though. While the main plot of my books might be many chapters away from seeing resolution, my subplots usually show a steady progression toward a conclusion.

It's a fun way to focus on a side character. Or to play around with another genre (introduce a romantic element in a mystery, for example).

A good subplot can also help keep the reader motivated to continue reading.

But…I have to keep them in their place. There’s definitely a limit to the amount of time I can devote to a subplot.

The one in my current WIP that wants to stage a coup with the main plot? I’ve made a deal with it. If I tie it into the main plot so that it’s an integral part of the book's conclusion, then I’ll give it more screen time.

Do you have subplots that want to take over your books?