Posted on Leave a comment

Sense of Subplots

August 23, 2021– Publishers want a lot of things from authors, and those things include a great manuscript, a positive author attitude, and an excellent work ethic. We’re almost done with our theme this month, which publishers want, but we still have more to cover, so let’s get to it!

A subplot is a side story that runs parallel to the main plot. There are three main types of subplots which are romantic, conflict, and expository. The subplot is always connected to the main story but never takes over. The purpose of the subplot is to strengthen the main story, character, and conflict.

Publishers want to see strong subplots (no more than two or three) that are timed and paced well to move the story forward. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Growth. Subplots reveal additional, new, or fascinating information about the main character that lends to their growth as a person. The main character should transform from who they were at the beginning of the book to who they are at the end of the book. The subplot also gives depth to secondary characters who would otherwise be one-dimensional.
  2. Motivation. Subplots give the reader a glimpse into the why behind a character’s actions. It shows why the characters are so determined about reaching their goals, sometimes no matter the cost.
  3. Struggle. Quite simply, subplots intensify conflict. They can heighten the tension and add new plot points that put obstacles in your character’s way that prevent them from reaching their goals easily. This results in a more dramatic climax which is what publishers are looking for.

When publishers receive manuscripts, we expect to see a compelling story and the story as a whole. How does the character grow? What are the obstacles that stand in their way? Why do they want what they want? Who is going to help them get there? Who is going to prevent them from getting there? If you can answer all of these questions and write a subplot that is intriguing and adds to the story, then you’ve got a good chance of being published!

For more info on what publishers want, check out my number 1 best selling book here: Advice from a Publisher (Insider Tips for Getting Your Work Published!): Bakker, Lacey L., Goubar, Alex: 9781989506141: Books –

Leave a Reply