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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.

21
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6answers
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
166 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
244 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
189 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
77 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
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: ...
4
votes
2answers
230 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k 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, ...
1
vote
5answers
146 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
336 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
306 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
173 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Dropping tie-ins for future stories?

During my writing I discovered some interesting (sub)adventures that my protagonists go through while reaching their end-destination. However, these stories are totally irrelevant to the current plot ...
8
votes
5answers
288 views

How do I know when to include subplots?

Disclaimer: This is not a duplicate of this question. That question deals with subplots being necessary to a story's success, and also loosely how to create them. This question is aimed at knowing ...
6
votes
5answers
813 views

Are subplots necessary for a successful story?

I'm particularly interested in this in the context of a new novelist. Are subplots necessary for a successful, good story? Do most novels have them? I'm not sure I fully understand how to write a ...
3
votes
3answers
131 views

How do I make sure my audience is aware of subplots?

In a first person story I am writing, I have many subplots going on, but when I started writing it, I realized that the subplots were not obvious. How can I make it more clear that progress is ...
1
vote
3answers
137 views

Plot. is it as central as “fun” or “entertaining”?

so I was writing a story and realized that there was more then enough background materiel from the characters and actions that these characters went through to write a whole book just on them and the ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

How do you create interesting background and ambiance for your fictional work? [closed]

A background is a very critical aspect of your fiction story/novel and can easily make or break it. For instance, Dan Brown's famous novel, Da Vinci Code was all about the backgrounds. The mysterious ...
1
vote
3answers
111 views

Interwoven story arcs (for video) - guidelines so viewers will not get lost?

I am trying to create a documentary about the history of a sports team, and have identified some compelling story arcs. However, as we know in reality, stories do not begin and end one at a time: ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

The Subplot: What to do when it is only loosely tied to the main plot?

The Background: I'm writing a novel that is set in the working quarters of a cruise ship. It's named after the "stage identitiy" of the main characters. (Let's call her Nancy.) All the subplots I have ...
2
votes
3answers
152 views

Are these dual plots or a plot plus a big subplot?

This is an extension to an earlier post. Below are some summaries for a novel outline using the Snowflake Method. I am looking for clarification if sections A and B are dual plots, of if section B ...
3
votes
1answer
263 views

What is the origin of multiple 'plotlines' tabular diagram?

Where did the concept of multiple parallel plotlines (that may or may not interact and converge) originate? These days they're also known as throughlines, subplots, narrative/character arcs, series. ...
2
votes
4answers
692 views

How to handle writing a romantic subplot when the main plot is very different?

So let's say the story is about a ''anti-hero'' who uses harsh methods to kill/expose corrupt politicians and banksters. Now let's say that I'd want to write a romantic subplot happening between him ...