The golden Rule of Subplot: Even when the isn’t in the scene, everything that happens must clearly affect him at some point, in some way!
It has a life of its own, but gets its meaning and resonance based on how it affects the main story question to resolve.. Each sub- must have it’s own
The other Rules of Subplot:
1 It must (supply information to) affect the
2 The subplot character is usually not the ally, the subplot character and the ally have two separate functions.
3 It is a fully realised on its own with its own structure.
4 It makes the ‘s quests harder than it would be without the subplot.
5 Subplot tells something that deepens our understanding of the .
The Purpose of Subplot
- The subplot adds tension in the first half of the story, while the main is still building. Later, it can still be used in pacing in moments when the main is in temporary lull.
- Subplots can provide backstory and other information in a more interesting way than exposition.
- Well handled, they can deepen the story’s context. It co-develops the .
- It can offer ways to mirror or contrast with the main action.
- Subplot also creates meaningful relationships between characters while raising the stakes for the .
- They can generate suspense when the narrative splits off to follow the subplot for a while before rejoining the main action, generally with added momentum and impact when they again converge.
- It can keep the main from bogging down and becoming predictable.
The mirroring Subplot
The mirroring subplot resolves around secondary characters in similar situations as the. What happens doesn’t necessarily have a direct external effect on the , the effect is internal. It changes the way the sees his own situation because this line reveals alternative ways to resolve a question or problem. The subplot tends to arc in the opposite direction as the main line. Often, this line answers the unspoken question of “This is what you wished for, are you sure its what you want?”
How to Write Subplot
Start the first sub-right after the beginning (when you open act II). If the sub- is centred on someone other than the , make sure the readers have gotten to know the character well enough before the story splits off. Finally, remember that like main plots, subplots need developments, crisis, big scenes, and resolution.
Cowgill, L. (2008) The Art of Plotting – Add Emotion, Suspense and Depth to your Screenplay.
Cron, L. (2012) Wired for story: the writer’s guide to using brain science to hook readers from the very first sentence.
Dibell, A. (1988) Plot.
Truby, J. (2007) The Anatomy of Story.