After watching a basket weaver go about her trade, one cannot ignore the intricate patterns she comes up with, and the dozens of threads she uses. But what happens when the in the middle of the weave she realises she’s made a mistake?
Well the weaver has several options. She can throw the whole thing and start over again, she can undo the weave up to the point where the mistake started, or she can incorporate the mistake into the pattern.
Novels are much like weaves. No wonder reviewers often compliment good novels with phrases like ‘the tightly woven plot makes the book a fantastic read’. Other reviews note that the plot is seamless. No one wants to go through a hundred pages of story that looks like it’s stitched together with tree bark.
Luckily, like the weaver, a writer can add just about any amount of complexity to the story at any point. As a weaver can tell you there are dozens of ways to make a good basket. So it is in writing. There are hundreds of ways of knocking up a good story. But you have to have a plan and pay attention while you’re working on it.
The Value of Subplots
There is a way to make small portions of your story play nice with other portions of the story. Interlinking your sub plots makes your story all the more enjoyable. If you notice your story is becoming a bit terse, throw in a subplot into the mix. You can hightail out of a flat story by diverging into one of the character’s history to explain his current attitude. Such diversions are a welcome relief to the reader in points where the story seems to drop its beat.
In fact, with subplots, you can introduce secondary characters. These characters complement the protagonist and antagonist of your story and help you develop the conflict further. Additionally, sub plots are a great source of killer plot twists. While diverging into a subplot, you can reveal information about your characters that affect the entire shape of the story.
Also, since sub plots are stories in themselves, they help add a bit of realism in your fiction. They interrupt the flow so that the reader feels like they are living within the story. Subplots create a dynamic world in your fiction, and if you have a good story to tell, they bring that world to life.
Frequently use subplots in your chapters to add more depth to your story, and weave out a seamless narration readers will love.
How do you use subplots? Let me know in the comments!