So I didn’t write yesterday. In large part, this was because after a day playing catch up at work, I came home and passed out on the sofa as soon as I fed the dogs. But also because I’m at a bit of a standstill. There is a necessary time gap between where I am and what I know happens next…and it’s too long for nothing to be going on. SOMETHING important should be happening there. But I don’t know what.
My various CPs all said the same thing: Subplot.
When I got to thinking about it…I have not written a subplot in the last three years. Short stories and novellas don’t have room for subplots by design. And Red really didn’t have any. Well, I guess the whole mean girls thread was a bit of a subplot, but it wasn’t a conscious kind of thing–just something I used to work on Elodie’s character arc. I have, for all intents and purposes, trained myself OUT of thinking about them. Which is ironic considering how much of a complicated pantser I used to be.
Subplots can, I think, be a dangerous thing, particularly to new writers. They give you a certain latitude for straying from the central plot that can be a problem. Certainly, when well executed, they add a lot to a book. It’s got me mulling over what the components are of a good subplot. I hadn’t planned one for this book, and I don’t want to just throw something in to take up space. Hoping things will clarify as I finish up the sinus meds.
Are you a fan of subplots (as a reader OR a writer)? What makes a good subplot to you?