A subplot is a co-current narrative that runs alongside the main plot, often providing context, character development or further world building. They can be used to build further tension, explore other perspectives or themes.
The theme is what the overall story means. A subplot allows you to lend more emotional weight to your story, as well provide reasons as to why your readers should care about the main story. For instance if two themes of your story are, there are multiple sides to one story and there are no true winners in war/conflict, your subplot can explore how the other side of a conflict, argument or event feels in comparison to the main protagonist, thus adding to the complex, emotional weight of the story.
It’s important to remember that the subplot must be relevant to the main narrative. Whether that be highlighting the growing tensions within the world or a character moment that sheds light on the dubious background of the protagonist,the subplot is there to support what the main plot is doing or trying to say. By utilising the subplot to provide further context to a conflict provides a future dilemma for the protag later, thus keeping your reader engaged.
The subplot is also where you can explore the reasons why the dear reader should be invested in the story without taking too much away from the main focus of the narrative. It can also provide much needed length if you're struggling without the middle section feeling like it's full of filler.
How have you planned your subplots? Do you think they are necessary for a story? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!
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Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Dec. 11, 2020
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