Writing

WORDS FOR WRITERS: Secondary Characters and Subplots

WORDS FOR WRITERS: Secondary Characters and Subplots

This post is the fourth in a series on subplots.

As you’re developing your secondary plot, you’ll need to start thinking about who is going to carry it. Some subplots continue to feature, or may be told from, the POV of your main character. Other subplots may focus instead on a minor or secondary character, who guides the reader through this second storyline.

It’s tempting to spend all of your energy on developing a really rich main character while going light on secondary characters, but you should consider putting as much initial thought into your main character’s friends, family members, and enemies as you do with them.

(Besides, we all know that really great side-characters are everyone’s favorite in novels, anyway. Sure, we like Frodo Baggins, but Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, Sam, Merry, or Pippin are the ones people name when you ask them who their fave is.)

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WORDS FOR WRITERS: What is a Subplot?

WORDS FOR WRITERS: What is a Subplot?

Welcome to a new article series! This time, we’ll be talking about about the structural and narrative importance of SUBPLOTS. But before we dive in, let’s figure out what a subplot actually is.

According to Dictionary.com, a subplot is: “A secondary or subordinate plot, as in a play, novel, or other literary work; underplot.”

Therefore, a subplot is the part of the story that is happening — to your characters, in the world, both beat-by-beat and overarching — in tandem with the main plot.

But how do they work?

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