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How long does a subplot survive without attention?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Svrtnsse, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Addison

    Addison Auror

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    To me, a subplot's life and death doesn't depend so much as the subplot itself but its connection and purpose to the main story and its memorability of either characters and/or plot.

    Some subplots actually don't need to be presented as entire little....yarns that have a definitve, bold color and take away from the main story. If a subplot is a character's struggle with drinking, snorting fairy dust or resisting illegally using magic to heal their bum leg, you don't need to create all new characters or settings to set the stage. Events and their outcomes can help highlight or illustrate the struggle.
     
  2. Helen

    Helen Inkling

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    I think you can leave it for quite a long time, intro in Act1 and go back to it in Act3. I'm sure there are examples of them being intro'd in book1 and picked up again in book3 etc.

    But I'd ask myself why I'm doing that...it's no biggie picking it up more often.
     
  3. R Snyder

    R Snyder Dreamer

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    It depends on how important the subplot is.
     
  4. cjthibeaux

    cjthibeaux Acolyte

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    Don't leave loose ends. It produces holes in your tapestry. If you followed The wheel of time, you will see that sometimes Jordan would leave out a character for most of his book but then go back to it in the next book. People do bitch about it but on the whole if it is a long saga, you might have to as long as it all ties up in the end.

    It shows mastery I think when all the subplots tie in. You could kill off a character without them fullfilling their goal but even that in itself should have a purpose.

    Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince saga, is one example. When a character was killed off without delivering his nessage, it added to the intensity of the whole story. So you could use that to your advantage.

    Good luck with your story.
     
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