POV and subplots
by Alyne de Winter
I'm re- writing a YA novel about a girl who is groomed to become a werewolf. Part 1 is really focused on her and her slow transformation. Part 2 gets more into the subplots about her family and their attempts to save her - which is impossible. It also brings in a dhampir who seeks to eradicate the ancient werewolf cult that she has been enticed into.
I find in Part 2 that I have several scenes in which my protagonist does not appear. This has come about by focusing on on plot as series of scenes, but I find myself wondering if it is a mistake to spend so much time on subplots or not or how to handle this.
Any ideas you can give will be appreciated.
Alyen de Winter
This is a very old project - started 12 years ago - so is not as I would write it now if I could start from scratch which doesn't seem to work.
From the little bit you've told me, I don't see an obvious problem.
I think you just need to make your subplots essential to the story, and tie them into the main plot at the climax.
The question I have is, what is the story goal? The girl becomes a werewolf, okay. But what is it she wants to accomplish? What problem is she trying to resolve? What is her inner conflict?
Is this a tragedy about the family's failed attempts to save her, or a story of someone's effort to stamp out the werewolves? Either of these would suggest someone other than the girl is the protagonist (though she might still be the main character).
If you're worried that the reader will lose sight of the girl because of a lengthy stretch of subplot, you could try weaving back and forth between the different plotlines more frequently. However, I have also seen many successful novels where the main character disappears for a considerable number of pages.