POV and subplots

by Alyne de Winter
(Seattle, WA)


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.

Response: 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.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Plot Invite.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero