Are Subplots Necessary?

I automatically include sub-plots when writing and inevitably, they are romance sub-plots. Is this just me or does anyone else find themselves doing this?

Into Another World

A subplot is a mini-story woven into your main story. It could involve your main character having two things going on at the same time (such as finding love while solving a mystery) or it can involve secondary characters having their own issues.

Now you don’t absolutely need to include a subplot into your story but there are many good reasons to include one.

  • It adds depth to your story.
  • If the subplot involves secondary characters, it can make them more rounded and complete.
  • It can help build tension. (You can leave your main story line hanging and switch to the subplot to keep your reader wondering what happens.)
  • Subplots can pile on problems for the main character or perhaps distract them from their course.
  • It can reveal information to your main character or to your reader
  • It can set up characters for multi-book series

Incorporating Subplot

Now your subplot…

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Self-published Writers Encouraged to Enter Prestigious Competition

This of any help to folks?


 winnerThe Young Writer of the Year Award has been out of action for six years, but it now being revived under the sponsorship of The Sunday Times and agents Peters Fraser Dunlop (PFD) Past winners include Sarah Waters, Simon Armitage and Zadie Smith.

The Award is worth £5000 to the winner,  is free to enter and is open to works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry published between July 1st 2014 and June 30th 2015. What’s not to like? (Well, for me it could be that you have to be between  18-35 to enter…but that’s just sour grapes.)

PFD are actively looking for self-published talent and are keen to stress that the award is for quality, not popularity. Self-published authors with disappointing sales should enter if they believe in their work.

For further details, see To enter, go to Deadline for entries: Tuesday 30th

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Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language

Very helpful advice from Amanda.

Irish history, folklore and all that

Cheat Sheets for Writing Body Language

Translate emotions into written body language 

We are always told to use body language in our writing. Sometimes, it’s easier said than written. I decided to create these cheat sheets to help you show a character’s state of mind. Obviously, a character may exhibit a number of these behaviours. For example, he may be shocked and angry, or shocked and happy. Use these combinations as needed.

The Top Five Tips For Using Body Language

  1. Use body language to add depth to dialogue.
  2. Use it because more than 50% of human communication is non-verbal.
  3. Use it to show how your character’s emotions affect his or her actions.
  4. Use it to help you show rather than tell your reader everything.
  5. Use it in moderation. If overused, it can slow your story down.

Email to find out more about our creative writing course, Writers Write –…

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