Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Week 17: Subplots!

This week we’ll take a look at what Donald Maass has to say about subplots, in his WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK. While he admits the term “has an almost old-fashioned ring,” he is quick to show how stories can be enhanced when subplots are well layered and engaging.

According to Maass, today’s stories seem more immediate than in the past primarily because of first-person POV as well as the rather recent use of what Maass calls “close or intimate third-person point[s] of view.” Just as Maass encourages us to delve deeply into our hero and heroines' conflicts, motivations, problems and goals, he also challenges us to develop the situations involving our secondary characters equally as well.

Multi-faceted characters—whether primary or secondary—are essential for a story to resonate with readers and editors alike. Secondary characters never take over the book, but the problems confronting them—their plot layers—should embellish the story and make it better. Well-defined subplots are a hallmark of the breakout novel so let’s get working to ensure our secondary characters meet the Maass standard.

Happy writing!

Wishing you abundant blessings!
Debby Giusti

Visit me at http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/ where I’m blogging today about what I’ve learned with the first year of publication and three books under my belt.

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