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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Camp NaNoWriMo April 2015: Day 5 & 6

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Word counts first.

Day 5: 3,358 words

Day 6: 6,643 words

As you might have guessed from my day 5 word count, very little got written, about a sentence or two so I didn’t post yesterday. Instead I focused on trying to catch up a bit and ended up discovering a lot about my story, including the nature of the organisation which owns the dragon archipelago. It actually also helped figure out one or two details from earlier in the story that I thought I would need to rewrite in its entirety.

I also had two characters admit they really liked each other. Something I did not expect considering a very lightly planned romance sub plot was going to be for emergency word count only. I do not think I am at that point but either way, it’s happened and not anywhere near what had been planned.

See, this is why I don’t plan stories too much. My characters like running off with their own ideas and I kind of just have to follow to keep up. As long as the main points and main events happen, that’s okay, right?

Know when you have those moments when things just click into place, either for the story, character(s) or both? Yesterday was one of those and it definitely helps as it leads into stuff that potentially could just write itself. Surely a good thing right when I am fairly behind at the moment!