Tips to use subplot effectively

Subplots are vital to writing a great story. They are a great tool to enhance your writing and give weight to your story. They can be used to enhance characters and give extra details about your world. However, subplots must serve a particular purpose. This means, they should, ideally, not land at a dead end. So, how exactly can we use subplots effectively? Well, here are a few tips that we hope come in handy. 

  • Communicate a different point of view 

Subplots can be a great way to bring secondary characters into the forefront of the story and give them some well-deserved screen time. Instead of just sticking to your plain old, one person narrative, twist things up a bit and create plots centred on a secondary character and later dwell on how that subplot was important for your main protagonist. For larger series, subplots are vital to create better fleshed out characters.

  • Reveal interesting details about the protagonist

Subplots are also a great way to explore your protagonist. Challenging their beliefs, revelations, and changes in their personality and general attitude – all of this can be addressed through subplots. 

Don’t be afraid to digress when thinking of subplot as they can always connect to the main story later on. However ensure that your subplots have an impact on the protagonist’s life or enhances them as a character. You can also consider adding flashbacks in the same. 

  • Pivot plot twists and instil action 

Subplots can also lead to revelation of information that can shock the readers. Your subplot can start off as a very trivial thing but soon, turn out to be the most pivotal point in your story. It can also be used to successfully ramp up tension and increase the need to take action. Subplots are also great tools for foreshadowing future events. 

  • Resolve gaps of the main plot

Post your first draft, you may notice plot gaps in the main storyline. Adding subplots to address those particular gaps can be an efficient way to deal with the problem. Some small subplots can be isolated while others can run its course for half a story. 

But, it’s important to ensure that the reader is never left confused when many events take place at the same time. Many series also utilise a trick, wherein they divide the cast into groups, each having their own subplots, all of which gradually melt into the main plot of the story.

Writing subplots has its own charm. They give layers to a story. So, the next time you consider writing a subplot, remember how much value they add to your final work. 

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