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Questions tagged [subplot]

This tag should be used for questions about subplots, story arcs that center around supporting characters and that are in general only loosely related to the main plot and the main characters.

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5 votes
2 answers
376 views

What's the difference between short stories and novels with plot?

I am asking this question as someone who has read many short stories and novels, so in theory, I should know the difference between the two. However, I have found it difficult to write short stories/...
AnnWriter19's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
128 views

How do I include a woman on her period in a Fantasy novel?

One thing I want to see more of in Fantasy exploration books is mentioning the necessity for 'emptying ones bowles' and women on their period - human reproductive systems will generally not change ...
BubbleQueen's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
131 views

Can I just change the whole subplot for a new character?

I have a side character that I'm writing the POV of and their story just opened up so many possibilities for the story. I don't know what happens after this story, but so far it has all been rated E ...
Enby_Liz's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
181 views

Mako Mori test: independent character arc in a plot?

at least one female character and that this character has an independent plot arc and that the character or her arc does not simply exist to support a male character's plot arc source Given: by far ...
Vorac's user avatar
  • 285
2 votes
1 answer
78 views

Building a relationship off of a previous one

In this story, I kind of want to hint to a blossoming relationship, without being too explicit. So I'm kind of planning on having the main character remember parts of a previous, first wholesome ...
Slatuvel's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
154 views

I have inadvertently made my character depressed... what should I do about it?

I have inadvertently made my character depressed. She's a minor character in my science-fantasy novel, and exists to tie together some of the plot lines. As I wrote her, this 18yo woman turned out to ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
300 views

Having Real-World Gods in a High Fantasy Setting

In my fantasy world, there are various religions and beliefs. To not get too obsessed with the worldbuilding (it is already pretty thick and heavy,) I was thinking of, in terms of their religions, ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 505
0 votes
1 answer
95 views

Writing a short-term love interest

In the epic I am writing, the protagonist and deuteragonist are sent on a mission by a king to save his daughter kidnapped by mercenaries of the evil empire. They save her, but the deuteragonist ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 505
-1 votes
2 answers
270 views

How to trick the reader of a character's sexuality

For my story, I am trying to write a mystery on the protagonist's sexuality. Throughout the story, there are subtle hints that he is either bisexual or gay, whether either past relationships or ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 505
2 votes
1 answer
122 views

Should you never write a subplot if it doesn't enhance the main theme and conflict of the story?

Should you never write a subplot if it doesn't enhance the main theme and conflict of the story? I have this subplot I am writing and it's there just to explain the political system of the country and ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

When do you reveal a backstory of a character?

Many characters have a backstory and it is usually sad. However I do wonder, when is it that you have to reveal a character's backstory. I've watched some videos of writers explaining how to reveal a ...
Crimsoir's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
250 views

Is it wise to start a story with a character that never appears again?

I plan to write the prologue with a limited third person view of a man delivering a 5 year old girl to a secluded city. His reason for doing this, even though he's not related to her, is because he's ...
AmateurWriter's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
344 views

How do I deal with "false filler" scenes necessary to move the plot along?

I wanted to ask this question after seeing this question. The two question are similar but kind of touch on somewhat different topics. Specifically, I am wondering what one should do about "fake&...
user2352714's user avatar
  • 4,685
1 vote
1 answer
172 views

Structuring TV episodes that each have a movie-long screenplay

TV shows nowadays are elaborate, lasting 45 minutes or more per episode, with each episode being a full-blown movie in itself, since they have their own screenplay the length of a Hollywood film. What ...
user610620's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
76 views

Are there different types of plot revelation?

In the movie Sixth Sense, the revelation was that the child knew all along that his counselor was a ghost. The same director-writer use this literary device again in the finale of the movie ...
user610620's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
122 views

What Test of Intelligence can an Emperor use to decide his successor among his three daughter heirs? [closed]

So, I'm writing a piece of fiction where there is a King with three daughters. In order to decide who becomes the next Queen, he sets three trials. Trials of Heart, Mind and Might. I'm done with the ...
Dark Programmer's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

What to avoid when writing distant and inconsequential POVs?

I'm currently writing a sci-fi novel, where we've got some huge, solar system-spanning stuff going on, with huge stakes. I've got four POVs that are directly involved with this, whose decisions matter ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
  • 4,043
4 votes
4 answers
707 views

How many plotlines are too many?

I've written a few not-very-good books in the fantasy realm. One struggle I've had is juggling multiple plotlines. For the first book I wrote I wanted to write a twisty, intricate story with a lot ...
nuggethead's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
171 views

How should I input a "while something happened" text?

I am trying to create a children's story that explains how a dog is lost and can't find its way back home. After around 6 pages, the dog is found and rescued. I want to insert a "flashback" ...
FairOPShotgun's user avatar
16 votes
8 answers
8k views

I accidentally added a character, and then forgot to write them in for the rest of the series

I am a young author writing a fantasy series. When I was looking over my manuscript, I realized that in chapter seven I’d added a character named Autumn. She’s a tiny fairy who rides around on the MCs ...
Hello.There's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
438 views

How do characters push the ones they love away in a believable manner over the course of a novel?

(not sure if this question belongs here, let me know if there's a better stack exchange category for it and I will happily take it down) I'm currently working on a story that involves a main character ...
Bridgebot101's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
161 views

What are some tips to keep on track of your plot

I am a new writer writing a fantasy series, and earlier today I found myself thinking “Yay! I’m almost done with the main plot of my first book!” Then I realized I was nowhere near done with the ...
Leila's user avatar
  • 321
0 votes
5 answers
635 views

Does my book need to have a love triangle in it?

I'm editing my book currently and I have a basis for a love triangle. Should I add one? I feel like it would add another subplot to my story and make it more interesting, but I've never been ...
AnnWriter19's user avatar
  • 1,623
3 votes
1 answer
100 views

Is it acceptable to have a subplot run out of sync with the main plot by a few days?

Is it acceptable to have a subplot run out of sync in front of the main plot by a couple of days and hide that fact from the reader until near the end, where it then becomes synced with the main plot? ...
th1981's user avatar
  • 55
2 votes
3 answers
272 views

Which plot should I use while outlining my plot beats?

I'm writing a crime/mystery fiction novel. The main plot involves a murder at the start, a case that my protagonist, a police detective, has to solve. He faces conflict and difficulties along the way,...
th1981's user avatar
  • 55
0 votes
2 answers
182 views

How to prevent secondary characters stealing protagonist role when using exposition via dialogue?

Due to the evolution of modern media I prefer to depend on exposition through dialogue. I try to avoid telling the reader anything. With simple plots this is easily achieved (often through the ...
Surtsey's user avatar
  • 5,289
3 votes
2 answers
606 views

Can I have scenes that aren't directly related to the main plot but strengthen the relationship between two characters (which is a subplot)?

I have some scenes in my novel that have nothing to do with the main plot, it's just to show the character development and the development of the relationship between two characters. Is this okay ...
searchingforareason's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

Can a fight scene, component-wise, be too complex and complicated?

Okay, there is some preliminary information for you to be able to answer this question: There is a sword of great power, a McGuffin, and a destined one who wields it. The destined one has two ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
  • 4,043
1 vote
1 answer
124 views

Writing Longer Flashbacks

In my story my MC has suffered a severe injury and has no recollection of who he was before it occurred. He knows what happened and where he was when it occurred as he was told by the people who found ...
J Crosby's user avatar
  • 405
13 votes
6 answers
4k views

Is it ok to put a subplot to a story that is never meant to contribute to the development of the main plot?

Is it ok to put a subplot to a story that is never meant to contribute to the development of the main plot? In Game of Thrones season 8, a lot of the subplots that were explored in previous seasons ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
3 votes
6 answers
461 views

Is it possible to combine clichés/tropes to make it not a cliché?

I have read a couple romance books at most and so don’t claim to have very much experience with romance and clichés. But here are the ones I can think of: Something happens to make them hate each ...
Nadeshka's user avatar
  • 413
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

How to tease a romance without a cat and mouse chase?

So, my story doesn't have a romance subplot until way later in the series, but I think that there are elements of the romance very early on. A little background info: The story is set in a ...
Kale Slade's user avatar
  • 2,643
9 votes
5 answers
993 views

Does detail obscure or enhance action?

I have two versions of a pivotal scene in my novel (both already written). My SP is a rather impulsive young woman who is learning to be a bit less of a hothead. She saves the MC by literally taking ...
Rasdashan's user avatar
  • 12.3k
3 votes
3 answers
221 views

Which techniques maintain reader interest when the POV is a spectator? (Sports story as sidequest?)

In my case, my character is literally a spectator. They're at a sporting event. There will be a major event which ramps up their plotline that occurs at this event, but I'm finding the event itself (...
Kirk's user avatar
  • 7,600
20 votes
6 answers
4k views

Should we add a character in a story for realistic effect?

In my novel, the protagonist is divorced and moves from London to another city in Britain. The setting is 2013. The protagonist is depressed and stressed out; in real life, such a person would see a ...
White Cloud's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
248 views

If two characters are blood relations will it seem coincidental?

I have a character who is a seasoned CIA agent and is part of the task force that is bringing in my MC. I have another character, a semi retired assassin who was one of my MC’s instructors. I want ...
Rasdashan's user avatar
  • 12.3k
9 votes
4 answers
758 views

Subplots better than the main plot

The main plot follows the MC while travelling through the world trying to rescue his family. While doing this however, he must overcome a lot of difficulties. These are subplots focused on other ...
scrp's user avatar
  • 131
0 votes
2 answers
241 views

MC’s emotional underpinning and grounding come from elder sister - her death would change him. Should she die? [closed]

MC is an assassin who was raised with and by his sister after the death of their parents. They were adopted by an uncle, who did his best though he was overwhelmed by the task so the two kids raised ...
Rasdashan's user avatar
  • 12.3k
0 votes
2 answers
354 views

Ideas for a twist or plot point involving adopted character's parents [closed]

I'm writing a plot for a tabletop game, and one of my players is running a character who was taken from her home at a very young age. (it's her earliest memory) She was raised from that point on by an ...
Josh's user avatar
  • 143
7 votes
6 answers
2k views

Alternative sources of drama/tension when the setting is low-violence

So, I think I might just have turned my fantasy setting into a Saturday morning cartoon. I just, don't want people to die within the world. There are monsters, with unlimited reserves of course: ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
844 views

Convergent, parallel plotlines okay?

So I saw Over Plotting My Story this morning, and I thought "Am I making the same mistake?" If so I'd rather fix it soon than later. I then did a search for multiple plot branches and found Are ...
Nero gris's user avatar
  • 409
13 votes
7 answers
3k views

I am overplotting my story - how can I figure out what is necessary and cut out what isn't?

I have recently discovered that the plot and cast of characters of my novel is so unbelievably complex that I am the only one who can actually understand it. I have too many characters, with too many ...
EmmieCG's user avatar
  • 589
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Do I have to show my characters making up after an argument, or can it be implied when we see them on good terms again?

Is it okay to have two characters who had an argument to patch things up offscreen, or do readers explicitly need to see how they made up? None of the two characters in question are the protagonist, ...
Klara Raškaj's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
179 views

Is it OK to introduce a character to leave it simmering to a later date?

One of my secondary characters is going to play an important part, more important than at present, in the story. Is it OK to introduce him, make the reader love him, and then leave him behind til a ...
shieldedtulip's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
312 views

Would it be appropriate to end a side story as soon as a character is killed off?

I am currently writing a war story written from different perspectives on both sides of the conflict. Every primary character of the story has their own side story with a family, life, etc., yet they ...
TotallyN0tABot's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
802 views

What is a subplot based on: conflict or tension?

I'm attempting to understand how subplots work, and one aspect has me confused. I'm trying to create a process by which I can create subplots. When I create the main plot, I start with conflict - two ...
Thomas Reinstate Monica Myron's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
371 views

How can I make the relevance of a story thread more apparent?

The story I'm writing has multiple story threads, which relate to each other subtly at first, while gradually converging over the course of the story. The trouble is that one particular thread of the ...
TheTermiteSociety's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
1k views

How much of a character's past/background should I let on?

I've been starting something really interesting lately, which is writing each of my main character's back story before writing the main book (If anyone is having the dreaded block or is looking for a ...
J. Roberts's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
277 views

A subplot becoming another novel

I'm writing a novel where I imagined two or three subplots (or storylines). Now I found that one of the subplots has evolved and grown so big that It can be an independant plot itself and could (or ...
Koblenz's user avatar
  • 412
2 votes
2 answers
164 views

How much development does a subplot need?

I've recently begun studying subplots, and I've realized I don't know how far I should develop them. Does a subplot need everything a main plot does? Does there even need to be a conflict for the ...
Thomas Reinstate Monica Myron's user avatar