How to handle writing a romantic subplot when the main plot is very different?

Asked by: Scott Sharrow

5 Tips for Writing Stellar Romantic Subplots

  1. Know the Character Dynamics Going In. One of the biggest issues I see in romantic subplots is inconsistent character dynamics. …
  2. Introduce Romantic Subtext Early. …
  3. Give the Characters Something in Common. …
  4. Bring Them Together in a Vulnerable Moment. …
  5. Don’t Overshadow the Main Plot.

How does the subplot in a story affect the main plot?

A subplot is like a mini-story within your main story with a beginning, middle, and end. The subplot story augments the main story through connections like mirroring the main plot but without the drastic consequences or contrasting the main story by showing success where the main storyline throws up obstacles.

How do subplots compare to the main plot?

The difference is that the subplot deals with issues in a storyline that aren’t essential to the plot, whereas the plot deals with major events in the storyline that contribute to the arc of it.

Should my book have a romantic subplot?

Writing a romantic subplot can be great fun, so don’t be put off by what could go wrong. However, ultimately, a romantic subplot is not an obligatory feature of a novel, so if it doesn’t feel right for you or your story, don’t stress.

How do you make a subplot interesting?

A secondary plotline is more than just a quick event or conversation; it’s a narrative arc that needs its own beginning, middle, and end. Develop your story’s subplots accordingly, paying special attention to the characters’ goals, motivations, and the conflict they’ll experience (i.e. the GMC).

How do you write a romantic subplot?

5 Tips for Writing Stellar Romantic Subplots

  1. Know the Character Dynamics Going In. One of the biggest issues I see in romantic subplots is inconsistent character dynamics. …
  2. Introduce Romantic Subtext Early. …
  3. Give the Characters Something in Common. …
  4. Bring Them Together in a Vulnerable Moment. …
  5. Don’t Overshadow the Main Plot.

How many subplots is too many?

Unless you’re a master writer, you shouldn’t use more than 2 subplots to your main one.

In which part of the main plot is the subplot usually introduced?

And as with your main plot, all subplots should follow a narrative arc of conflict, crisis, and resolution, usually wrapped up before the main plot’s climax. Subplots can be what’s happening to secondary characters or an internal conflict your main character is facing in addition to the main conflict of your story.

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Are subplots necessary?

So, second question: Do you need subplots? The short answer is no. Subplots aren’t crucial to your story. In fact, too many subplots or the wrong kind of subplots can easily water down your main plot and theme and end up distracting readers.

Can a book have 2 plots?

Sometimes you can have essentially two stories within the same novel that only marginally affect each other. However, in this case, the fact that one teaches the main character how to solve the other suggests that you may have one story in which the throughlines are just a little more independent.

What is the subplot of Harry Potter?

In this novel the subplots include: The development of a friendship between Harry and his two best friends and the subplot of the Mirror of Erised demonstrate Harry’s desire for family and belonging which reinforces the ending when he realises Hogwarts is his home and the people he has met there are his family.

How many plots should be in a novel?

A novel will have one main plot and several smaller storylines to accompany it. Think of these little storylines as story threads. Having more than one storyline is not uncommon – in fact, your main characters will have their own storylines within the overall plot.

What is a parallel plot?

A Parallel Plot: The writer weaves two or more dramatic plots that are usually linked by a common character and a similar theme. Parallel Plots: These are plots in which each main character has a separate but related story line that merges in the end.

How are novels usually divided?

Many novels of great length have chapters. Non-fiction books, especially those used for reference, almost always have chapters for ease of navigation. In these works, chapters are often subdivided into sections. Larger works with a lot of chapters often group them in several ‘parts’ as the main subdivision of the book.

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How can I add more to my novel?

Here are five ways to increase word count and make your novel longer, better, and more complex.

  1. Add more characters to the story. …
  2. Prolong the buildup before your climax. …
  3. Add challenges, complications and hurdles. …
  4. Extend the timeline of your novel. …
  5. Explore your characters’ backstories.

What is too short for a novel?

If you’re writing your first novel, the general rule of thumb for novel writing is a word count in the 80,000 to 100,000 range. While anything over 40,000 words can fall into the novel category, 50,000 is considered the minimum novel length. Anything over 110,000 words is considered too long for a fiction novel.

How do you add 10000 words to a novel?

5 Ideas to Lengthen Word Count in Too-Short Novels

  1. Brainstorm Additional Plot Beats. List all your current plot threads, and then explore ways to expand upon them. …
  2. Deepen Connections Between Characters. …
  3. Add Characters. …
  4. Emphasize Important Character Traits. …
  5. Dramatize Summaries.

How do you make scenes longer in books?

If you try to make a scene longer or shorter than its natural length, you distort the story. What do you do if you need more words than you’ve got? The simple answer is to add another story thread. Your main story focuses on your lead character (or lead pair if you’re writing a romance).

How do you beef up your writing?

8 Simple Ways to Beef Up a Lean Manuscript (Without Adding Filler or Fluff)

  1. Show Don’t Tell. …
  2. Add Sub-Plots. …
  3. Create Establishing Shots. …
  4. Improve Opening Hooks and Closing Cliff-hangers. …
  5. Use All Five Senses. …
  6. Add Second Level Action. …
  7. Attach Objects to Characters. …
  8. Make Things Much Worse for Your Hero.

What are the five elements of a scene?

Understanding (Action) Scenes

  • A scene always contains conflict. A scene is written as if the reader were watching and listening to it happen. …
  • Build it using the tools of dialogue and action. Dramatise the scene. …
  • Scenes exist for a reason. …
  • Scenes are never superfluous. …
  • Remember that something happens next.
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How do you write an intense scene?

10 Tips for Starting Strong Scenes

  1. Start with the setting. …
  2. Use visual imagery. …
  3. Drop the reader into the middle of the action. …
  4. Write a character-driven scene opener. …
  5. Summarize past events. …
  6. Introduce a plot twist. …
  7. Keep the purpose of the scene in mind. …
  8. Rewrite until you’ve found the perfect scene opening.

What makes a story gripping?

Your character needs to be driven – they can’t be passively waiting around for someone else to step up. Setting up your character’s goal allows the reader to more easily identify with them, even if they’re not as nice or moral. The conflict should start as a result of your character attempting to reach their goal.

How do you write a traumatic scene?

Show the characters processing their trauma and trying to resolve their issues. How do their brains connect the moment to reminders of the past? Give your characters a backstory, but don’t let the traumatic event dictate their entire lives. Real people never want to be defined by a single thing that happened.

How do you write a depressing scene?

6 Tips for Writing a Sad Story

  1. Tap into your own emotionality. …
  2. Know the difference between sentimentality and truth. …
  3. Leave room to be surprised by specific detail. …
  4. Pair strong emotions with ordinary ones. …
  5. Use backstories to add weight. …
  6. Use sad moments to further character development.

How do I make my readers cry?

  1. HOW TO MAKE READERS CRY.
  2. Create a character we care about, who has struggled with something we can identify with. …
  3. Create primal stakes for that character. …
  4. Plot a difficult journey. …
  5. Surprise us. …
  6. Create a moment. …
  7. Deal authentically with human emotions.
  8. What makes a story dark?

    A story is considered dark if it tackles the stuff that would make most people uncomfortable, and that, of course, could be anything, from the horror of war, drugs, people trafficking, child abuse, genocide, terrible crimes, terrorism, gritty or grim urban tales or horror…to good old fashioned blood and guts horror.