Replotting the Subplots

Subplot: a secondary or subordinate plot, as in a play, novel, or other literary work; underplot. (As defined by Dictionary.com)

Yesterday’s personal honey do list started with a review and revision of my subplots.

Okay…there is a main plotline the two sisters follows, where they push and trigger drivers in each other’s story. But for the most part, they have individual stories independent of each other. For the purpose of my sanity, I’m going to treat each one as their own plot with timed exchanged points that have to happen (Back to the Future comment anyone?).

Nettie: Her story had three main subplots. I cut one subplot out all together because is was unproductive and…well, retarded in retrospect (yes, I’ll admit it). Okay, one down. It was decided (through an internal conversation between me and the character) that the other two subplots must happen. I will be working out the other kinks mentioned in September 26th post to strengthen these two.

Annie: Her story had what seemed like fifty zillion subplots that were pointless and counterproductive to the story. I took a huge mental machete and chopped away all but three subplots. These three are vital to the storyline and Annie’s motivation in the last half of the story. They need major renovations, but at least I have them identified and ready to go.

Once I worked out both sister’s plot lines I adjusted the exchange points, eliminating one of them, and moved the climax to a better position. I also ended up cutting out several secondary characters. By doing this exercise, I also managed to strengthen the theme, reduce the repetition, and delete several implausible scenes.

Plot and subplots are now strategically laid out. Today will be all about revising, smoothing, and fleshing out what’s left.

I feel like a writing surgeon…

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