02 March 2022

Hijack the Subplot

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up!

This month's optional question is: Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?

That's an interesting question for me because while UL has a controversial subject matter, when I first started writing it, I didn't really feel conflicted about it. As I started to develop and flesh out the story more, it became more difficult to balance writing this topic while trying to maintain some level of sensitivity. That's probably why I still haven't figured it out! One of the reasons, anyway...

Speaking of UL! No, I'm not actually writing anything. But I am doing some THINKING, which is better than nothing and has really gotten me excited. 

I've been working on figuring out the third act of this book for a while now, and completely reworked it from the previous draft. Only a few scenes were kept and most of what I've written is brand new. That doesn't mean I'm satisfied with it. Is it better than before? Yes. But is it what the story really needs? Probably not. 

One of the things I've worried about is that the third act is weighed down by the subplots. They take up a lot of space, maybe even more than the main plot, which definitely isn't a good thing. I know I need to cut down a lot or the end of this book is just going to drag on forever. 

So I had a random idea that may just speed things up. Basically, I'm going to have my MC reveal something to a subplot character way earlier than he previously did. I have two subplots in this book, and this is the less important one, so speeding things up will definitely help the book overall. I think I can wrap this subplot up earlier, and also this particular idea helped make certain things about these characters more realistic to me. 

I think it might be good to have this subplot not be as complicated as it previously was. The main plot and the other subplot both end on a heavy note, and while this particular subplot always ended with an upbeat tone, it took a long time to get there and things got a bit convoluted along the way. I think this change will make the subplot end more quiet and simple, which could help support the other plots by not getting in the way, and just helping to develop the main character. 

The only downside is that I'll have to rewrite part of Chapter 18, which is my favorite chapter in the whole book. It won't change what happens in the main plot in this chapter, but I have to figure out how this change will affect the mood and tone of the scene so that I can still have it end the same way. It's not that I don't think I can do it, but I just have to take the time to figure it out. 

If I can map out this subplot and make the changes I want, I really think it could work. And if it does work, then maybe, just maybe, the rest of the book will start to fall into place. I can only hope!