1. CharlestsWhitfield
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    CharlestsWhitfield Member

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    Main Plot and Subplot Structure

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CharlestsWhitfield, Jan 17, 2014.

    I'm creating an outline for my novel and come across a problem. I have my main plot planned out, and my subplot as well. The problem I have is, the subplot doesn't effect the main plot in my first book, it isn't until the second book that the subplot has an effect on what the characters do. At the start of the novel, a disaster happens and from that point on it splits into the main plot, and the subplots.

    I want to explore all sides of the problem that the disaster presents. The question I'm getting at is, is it okay for my subplot, not to touch or have any indirect/direct interaction with my main plot? The characters of the subplot have no interaction with the main characters. Again, the subplot doesn't take effect until the second novel. Don't worry at the end of the first, I tie up the loose ends to the subplots, so the reader isn't left in the dark as to what happens.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  2. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    It sounds like you don't have a plot and a sub-plot so much as two main plots. As a reader, if there was no obvious connection between them I think I would wonder why they were both there, and why you didn't separate it into 2 shorter stories.

    It doesn't need much connection - Walking On Glass by Iain Banks has three plot strands that are tangentially connected at best - there's maybe a line or two of overlap as they develop. Despite that, I thought the book was great - though I'm a complete Banks fanboy so not totally unbiased.
     
  3. CharlestsWhitfield
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    CharlestsWhitfield Member

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  4. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would it be possible to add a few subtle connections, or even a major link, without the subplot characters even meeting the primary plot characters? You could add an element/obstacle that one helps the other overcome (or creates for the other) but at a distance: Plot A unwittingly steals Plot B's car, Plot B helps/saves someone who later helps Plot A due to general gratefulness etc...

    I'm not saying it's a must, only you really know what will work. I just think some kind of linkage might make the first story feel more cohesive.
     
  5. CharlestsWhitfield
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    CharlestsWhitfield Member

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    @Okon - Thanks for the feedback. The connection isn't made until the second novel. Based on these responses I have rethink and restructure.
     
  6. TechnoGoth
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    TechnoGoth Member

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    There should be some links even if they are subtle. You want to leave clues for the reader to discover and theorize about. That way they can feel clever about figuring things out you might not tell them until book 2.
     

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