Plotting Subplots

I’ve made up my mind on what story I’ll be working on for National Novel Writing Month this November. Unlike the other times before, I won’t be starting from scratch. Instead, I’ll be rewriting an entire novel. This novel is currently on Watford and I absolutely don’t like it. It’s terrible and I just made things up as I went and that somehow made a story.

So, since I already have the majority of it already written, I can use that to help me write. I believe I mentioned beforehand how I might have read something where it’s better to rewrite a story as opposed to editing first. I’ve found myself agreeing to this logic. Knowing myself, I know that most of the time I’ll end up rewriting whole sections of the story and calling it editing. To avoid that, I’ll just rewrite from the start then edit.

Now, I know the main plot for my story (the vampire Prince goes to high school). I might change the title later but for now, it’ll stay that way. However, I need to plot out my subplots. I use the same method as I do to figure out how to plot a novel. The first thing I do is to list my supporting characters. Then, I figure out what they want.

For example, one of my characters named  Carlos wants to  let the public know that vampires take advantage of the system because everyone is afraid to speak out and demand  justice. So, what does he do? He technically joins  ” vigilantee” organization that broadcasts messages over vampire wrongdoings, etc.

Knowing all of this, I use the information to feed conflict into the story. My main character, Rin, finds herself in a position where she needs to cooperate with the vampire Prince and this “vigilantee” group doesn’t like that. They believe vampire and humans shouldn’t mix. Run feels pressure from everyone.

That it but one subplot that runs through the story. I have plenty more to work with. The trick is to figure out the purpose your characters have in the story. What do they contribute? This is true to the characters surrounding your main character. Do they want to help or hinder? Are the rivals? What obstacles, if any, do they present? Use character motivation to your advantage. If goals conflict, that makes for perfect conflict.

Personally, I don’t fill out character sheets for anyone. They sort of tend to develop on their own. But this might not be true for everyone. Find out what works for you and stick to it. Out on a word document, on paper, online, whatever works for you. Just have it written down somewhere so you can always go back and refresh your memory.

A good trick I found was to draw a line with plot points that I know will happen in the story. Then, I add more points as my subplot surface. This method gives me something visual to look at and it’s not only in my head. I can easily erase and move around points of I have to.

As always, thanks for reading? For those  participating in NaNoWriMo, how do you prepare? Why are your methods?

Methods NaNoWriMo Writing

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Kassandra Carrillo View All →

Kassandra Carrillo received her B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She enjoys writing dark paranormal fiction. However, she has dabbled in writing fantasy as well, science fiction, western, short stories, poetry, and script writing but she prefers writing novels. In her spare time, Kassandra edits, proofreads, and copy-edits college essays and writes content for Gameway (ANDi Games Ltd).

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