Bringing Subplots Back to Life

Even though I have spent my whole month doing just that, I’m having trouble articulating the steps I used. I’m going to pull up Scrivener, look at my notes, and try to reverse the process by listing 5 of the strategies that I used.

  • Plan, plan, plan (if you’re a plotster) the subplot’s progress so it never reaches a point of stasis. Create set-backs in the long-term goal that lead the character inevitably towards Points of No Return.

  • Try changing the POV (and thus who has the greatest stakes) in an already written scene to that of your subplot character. (This can also help tie the subplot back into the main plot.)

  • Introduce an inner conflict that starts off static – until the central conflict knocks it (the inner balance) off kilter. He didn’t like it but accepted it until…

  • Show character’s unmet needs. At least one of these probably motivates his/her main goal, even if he/she isn’t aware of it. Have the character take risks to achieve these needs. Consider having the motivations change in response to changes in self-awareness. I’m protecting her for her own good —> I need to be needed but am driving her away. —> I have to change/ make her understand/ make her more dependent on me.

  • When writing, don’t take the easy road. Brainstorm and choose a less obvious reaction. Person A: “I hate you.” Person B: “Took you long enough.”

This list quickly got long (20 or so) so I’ll save some for later.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s