• Ordinary people. Extraordinary romance.

    Ordinary people. Extraordinary romance.

using subplots

Throwback Thursday

It’s #ThrowbackThursday, and we’re traveling in the wayback machine to just about this time last year to discuss how using subplots can deepen your story.

Using subplots to deepen your story

NOT ALL STORIES REQUIRE the addition of one or more subplots. Adding more to a rich, layered, and textured main plot could detract your reader.

NOT ALL STORIES REQUIRE the addition of one or more subplots. Using subplots can enhance your story. On the other hand, subplots can:

  • Deepen characterization by revealing flaws, strengths and growth.
  • Deepen theme.
  • Add complexity and momentum by diverting the reader’s attention from the main story, forcing tension until they can return to the main plot.
  • Introduce back-story, which in turn layers inner conflict, motive and invokes sympathy with the reader.
  • Introduce new characters.
  • Develop relationships.
  • Break up long scenes.
  • Control story tension.
  • Deepen conflict, making it more credible and complex.
  • Subplots can involve the main or secondary characters or both.

Like the main plot, subplots must follow the same rules. They should have a beginning, middle and end. At the end of the story, tie them up in the reverse order in which they were introduced. If “A” is the main plot, “B” is secondary and “C” is tertiary, they should be introduced as A, B, C, and closed out as C, B, A.

The subplot should not overshadow the main plot. Whatever happens in the subplot, never lose sight of the main line of action.

The number of subplot scenes should not outnumber main plot scenes.

Do not introduce so many subplots the reader is distracted from the main story. One to three is the rule of thumb. It’s hard to make characters and their problems distinct after that.

Subplots come in two varieties:

  1. Parallel. The characters know each other through a common link—the workplace, a vacation resort, a wedding, but their stories are independent of each other. This can be difficult to pull off, but the characters can learn from each other and influence each other’s storylines.
  2. Interwoven. This is the most common type of subplot. Tie the subplot to the main plot and any other subplots and increase the complexity of the story. The subplots should affect the main plot. If the subplot can be omitted from the story without affecting the main plot, does it belong?

Subplots should cover three areas:

  1. There should be connections between the sub and main plots. Interweave the relationships. The outcome of one affects something else.
  2. They should add complications to the main plot. If the hero is fighting for a promotion, reveal his alcoholic background, have his sponsor fall off the wagon, or he should.
  3. It should contrast the main plot. Don’t repeat what’s established, but explore different tones, purposes and ranges. Portray a variety of experiences to add depth and complexity to the overall story.

Adroit handling of subplots will enrich your story.

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cool links 8-25-18

Cool links 8-25-18

Cool links 8-25-18 range from cookies to chocolate and a couple of places in between.

Chocolate Spill

Oh, to be behind this truck when it rolled into a ditch!

A semi-trailer, hauling 40,000 pounds of Hershey products overturned recently and lost part of its load.

I know from experience any food spilled can’t be sold. A truckload of toaster pastries spilled near my house, and we stuffed our freezer and ate well all winter long.

Where did the Hershey bars go? What a sweet deal!

cool links 8-25-18

Diver helps shark

A scuba diver in Australia removed a fishing net stuck in its mouth. Read the article here.

Score 1 for the diver

Score 1 for the shark

The poor little fishies who might end up as lunch score Zero.

cool links 8-25-18

Animal Crackers Roam Free

After 115 years of captivity, the animals in Barnum’s Animal Crackers are free to roam the savannah.

In a redisgn of the iconic cracker box, the boxcars are gone, and the “circus” animals are shown walking the grasslands.

cool links 8-25-18

P.E.TA. is claiming a victory.

Maybe they chould have redesigned the actual cracker. Is it an elephant? Or a rhino?

Read the whole story here.

60 Beautiful Abandoned Places

An abandoned ferris wheel, WWII cars, and houses. This article highlights beautiful structures that have been abandoned and left to rot. Check out the article here.

cool links 8-25-18




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Haunted town cool links 8-18-18

Cool Links 8-18-18

Cool links 8-18-18 is brought to you by driverless grocery deliveries, larcenous lunch ladies, and a haunted town in Ohio.

I have seen the future, and it is here

I live exactly 300 steps behind the nearest grocery store. It’s called Fry’s and is part of the Kroger chain. Most grocery stores in this area belong to Kroger—Fry’s, Albertson’s, Safeway. It’s convenient to have a store so close, both in a good way and a bad way. When I run out of something, it’s only 300 steps away. But its nearness also means we’re there too many times during the week.

If you hate getting in your car and driving to the nearest grocery store, the grocery store may soon come to you. In a partnership between Nuro and Kroger, driverless cars will soon pull up your driveway and deliver your order. Starting this week in Scottsdale, AZ (just a hop, skip, and a jump from my door), Nuro’s fleet of Prius’ will be on the road delivering groceries from their local Fry’s store. Without drivers. You’ll still have to bring grocery bags inside, but no more long lines and rude shoppers.

Read the story here.

driverless grocery delivery cool links 8-18-18

Beware the lunch ladies

Two sisters working as lunch ladies in Connecticut are accused of stealing almost $500,000 from the lunch line over the last five years. How much, exactly, does a school lunch cost, and why did it take five years to realize the till at the end of the day didn’t match the number of lunches prepared?

Continue reading Cool Links 8-18-18 Driverless Cars, Lunch Ladies, and Haunted Towns

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