In this week’s column, I thought we’d look at subplots. These are secondary stories within your novel that can be connected to the main plot and feature the supporting characters. These side stories run parallel and add more definition to the overall story. These additional arcs can also help to develop different themes and characters and the links I’ve chosen today will help you to add them perfectly into your novel.
- https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/7-ways-to-add-great-subplots-to-your-novel – 7 Ways to Add Great Subplots to Your Novel: The first link I’ve chosen this week is from Writer’s Digest and it looks at 7 ways to add subplots. The article begins by explaining how a writer should think of subplots and how they can advance your story and reveal information to readers. The article then talks about 7 different subplots and explains them with examples. This includes spinning subplots, isolated chunks, the swallowtail, and more.
- https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-add-subplots-to-your-story – How to Add Subplots to Your Story: 6 Tips for Writing Subplots: This is an article from Masterclass about subplots explained as secondary storylines found in novels. They can be used to create twists, reveal more about other characters, etc. The article begins with a section on what subplots are followed by a list of 3 reasons why you should use them in your writing. It then moves on to explain the four different types of subplots and then finishes with 6 tips to help you write better subplots.
- https://nybookeditors.com/2017/11/the-importance-of-subplots/ – The Importance of Subplots: This article is from the NY Book Editors blog and is all about the importance of subplots and why you should spend some time developing them when writing a novel. There’s a section explaining subplots which includes some great examples taken from The Lord of the Rings. There’s a section on why subplots are important and there’s a section on how to incorporate them into your novel.
- https://www.novel-writing-help.com/subplots.html – How to Add Subplots to Your Story: Subplots really do matter and this article gives you a three step process on how to create them. There’s information on where subplots come from with examples and a section on subplots and point of view which is very interesting. There’s a section on why subplots are so important and some of the advantages of using them.
- https://www.nownovel.com/blog/subplot-ideas-better-subplots/ – Subplot Ideas: 5 Tips for Writing Better Subplots: This article is packed full of great information with superb examples that help explain everything. The first tip is knowing the types of subplots that will work best with your story and this includes focusing on your genre as different subplots will work better with certain genres. It also explains that subplots should develop your main plot and again there are examples and a great infographic. There’s information on using subplots for tension, developing side characters, and how they can work for backstory too.
- https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/5-tips-organizing-subplots/ – 5 Tips for Organizing Subplots: This article is from K.M. Weiland and it begins by looking at the myth about subplots before moving on to discussing the three central plotlines that are used in a successful story. These are external conflict, the main relationship, and internal conflict. After this the four types of subplot are discussed and there’s a great infographic included. The article ends with a list of 5 tips that you can use to organise your subplots to ensure their success.
- https://www.livewritethrive.com/2014/07/16/how-to-add-meaningful-subplots-to-your-novel/ – How to Add Meaningful Subplots to Your Novel: This article has a number of really useful sections including why subplots serve a purpose and how to use plot layers that work. There’s a section on how to showcase the themes you are using in your novel with subplots and why subplots need to be carefully thought out. There are lots of additional helpful links at the end of the article too.
- https://prowritingaid.com/art/762/the-benefits-of-story-subplot-.aspx – The Benefits of Story Subplot: This guide on subplots comes from ProWritingAid and has all the information you need in one tidy page. It begins with an overview of what subplots are and how they work in novels. There’s a section on why you should have them and the mistakes you need to avoid when using them.
- https://www.janefriedman.com/how-to-use-subplots/ – How To Skilfully Use Subplots in Your Novel: The final link for this week comes from Jane Friedman’s blog and it discusses subplots, or as the author likes to call them strands, and how you can skilfully use them in your stories. There’s a section on how many strands a book might need along with how to successfully weave them together to create a perfect story.
I hope you enjoyed the links this week and have a better understanding of subplots and how important they are in your story. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do.
(c) Amanda J Evans