PlottingWriting basics

The Magic of Subplots in Your Novel

This Saved My First Novel


It took me seven years to write my first published novel.

Seven years!

Okay, so I wrote another first draft in the middle, but still. Seven years.

I paused half way through writing it, partly because I got distracted by another idea but partly because the story wasn’t going well.
Something was wrong. Something was missing.

The solution was two new characters.
They were supposed to be secondary characters. Of course, with two new characters, I needed something for them to do, so I had to create a subplot just for them.

It was easy to create a subplot for them.
Tabitha was the maid in the castle, she knew something was going on and she wanted to investigate it. That was supposed to be it. She’d be involved, but not the hero.

Markkus was the royal Taster and an old friend of my protagonist, Del. So, of course, he’d wind up helping, especially as he had great access in the castle.
That was honestly supposed to be it.
And then I wrote a scene with Tabitha and Markkus in the same room, alone and talking.
I couldn’t ignore the instant chemistry.
No one could have ignored it.

Suddenly a new subplot was born!
I hadn’t planned for a romance, but Tab and Markkus had other ideas.

It turned out Tabitha also had different ideas of how involved she’d be.

Thanks to two new characters and the subplots I planned for them, and the subplot they created themselves, I suddenly had another protagonist.
And two more books.

Yup, thanks to subplots, my standalone, single novel became a trilogy.

If your story is feeling stuck or like something is missing, take a look at your subplots.
Could a new character and subplot unstick you and bring some magic?

Speaking of Tabitha and Markkus, if you want to see what I’m talking about you can get Matter of Time for free right here.


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