1. Ryan Elder

    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

    Apr 15, 2015
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    How much time should I spend on the love story subplot in this case?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan Elder, Mar 13, 2016.

    Perhaps this is more of a character development question than a plot development one maybe... In my story, it's about a cop on the track of a serial rapist/killer. He eventually becomes the villain's next rape victim, after getting too close on the case, and after the villain gets away with it, he wants revenge. And he has to choose between whether or not he wants to get revenge and risk going to jail for the rest of his life, and choosing to forget his victimization, and go back to his love interest, and learn to be happy with her instead, and forgive what happened to him.

    So I originally wrote the story so that before his victimization, he has two scenes with this love interest. One is how they are currently, in a good relationship, and the other is a flashback to how they first met. I originally wanted to write it so that they first meet, get to know each other and fall in love, but I eventually thought that that was a lot to develop, during the course of the MC's police investigation, especially when I have to develop the relationship before the rape, which would be about one third to halfway through the story.

    I was watching John Truby's video on fiction writing. At 5:40 into the video, he explains how most of the time, readers do not feel the MC's choice between love and honor, because the love story has not been well established enough, cause not enough time was devoted to it:

    In Truby's example though, I think he was talking about stories where the love story was the main plot more, and mine it's more of a subplot though.

    But I want my subplots to be compelling as well of course. So in order for the reader to feel the MC's choice between love and honor, should I devote more than two scenes to establishing the love story. How much percent of the story do you think should be focused on the love story, to feel the MC's choice emotionally more?

    Also I wrote an outline so far, where the MC chooses love over honor, but then something bad happens, which plunges him back into darkness, and he is forced to choose honor. Basically he attempts to get revenge on the villain, but it doesn't work and goes wrong. He then learns his lesson and chooses love and decides to run away with his love interest and try to be happy.

    But then something bad happens, and the MC is forced to take revenge even more. But I was told by a couple of readers, that this is redundant, cause there is no point in the MC learning to make a 180 degree choice, if he is just going to back 360 degrees, to where he was before. There is no point in doing a 180, if you are going to go 360.

    Is that true though? One story I can think of that did this was Casino Royale,


    where Bond decided to leave the secret service, but then something bad happens, and he decides to go back.

    But that is just an example, and maybe mine is too different? What do you think? Thanks for the input people. I really appreciate it.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016

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