What makes a good sub-plot in a fantasy story? +(BQs)?
Topic: How to write a blurb for a movie
July 20, 2019 / By Katharyn Question:
Just curious as to what you think makes a good sub-plot.
BQ) How many sub-plots can you weave into one story? (What if have a few in mind?) (Can they all be used?)
BQ2) What is your main character's worse flaw?
BQ3) What is your main character's best trait?
BQ4) Does your main character lie more than your main antagonist?
BQ5) Fantasy Writers/Readers: What is your favorite fantasy race/species? (Elf, Dwarf, Dragons etc.)
BQ6) Fantasy Writers: Have you ever made up your own race/species?
I have about 5 sub-plots in my story. One involves a romance between my princess and a knight. Two involves a very down trodden kingdom. Three involves the elves and dwarves of my story. Four involves a race I made up and five involves another race I made up.
If that proves too much for one book I may cut two out but I'll start with the main ones for now and go from there.
Best Answers: What makes a good sub-plot in a fantasy story? +(BQs)?
Helena | 5 days ago
I think a good sub-plot adds to the overall story. Either through moving the main plot forward, by revealing/changing the personalities of the characters or by developing relationships between the characters. Or better yet, a combination. Some fantasy novels tend to have sub-plots that show how the world works (whether it's the magic system or the government, etc). I've never been keen on those. They tend to be really dry to me. I'd rather see people interacting with the world to show us how it works.
1. I'd say as many as doesn't kill the pacing or the overall story. This is when beta readers are valuable.
2. She lies constantly and hides from the truth. To herself mostly, but she will ignore facts to rewrite events to her liking. Her second biggest flaw is that she acts without thinking.
3. Her loyalty. She will face the truth if it means helping her friends/loved ones. She also believes in The Rules, which is important for a princess.
4. YES! I'm trying to write it so that the MC and the antagonists have the same noble goal. They're just going about it in an evil way (killing people, torture, intimidation).
5. Dragons. Huge, giant, fire-breathing dragons. If you put a dragon on the cover of a fantasy novel, odds are, I will pick it up to read the blurb. If that blurb is about the dragon, I will probably buy your book. If you make a movie about a dragon, I will be there with an extra large popcorn and soda. The latest Hobbit movie made my inner dragon fangirl very happy.
6. Yes. The less said about that, the better.
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This may be an unpopular answer, but romance. While I don't read romance as a genre, I do like a romantic subplot. I think the downfall of many famous fantasy novels is that they ignore romance completely, which, unless you've created a race of non-romantic creatures which have alternative methods of reproduction, just isn't realistic at all. I find that romance greatly enhances fantasy.
BQ: I think most novels weave a few subplots together. It depends exactly how many you mean by a few, and how well your subplots fit together. If your novel is becoming too complicated or confusing, you may want to cut some subplots out. My novel has three main subplots - one involving the MC's sister, one involving his parents and one involving the antagonist's sidekick.
BQ2: He's emotionally childish, and that means that he puts others on a pedestal, can't see or deal with the consequences of his actions and finds it easy to deny reality.
BQ3: He's creative.
BQ4: My antagonist lies more, but they both lie a lot. They're both fantasists and both try to deceive themselves and others, albeit in different ways and for different reasons.
BQ5: Mermaids/sirens. They're not as popular as some of the other fantasy species, but I find them very intriguing, powerful and dark. There's some siren folklore in my novel.
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I think a good subplot must have a conflict that adds to the tension of the overall book. It's one more reason to keep the reader engaged. And it would be best if it grew out of the main plot or conflict.
BQ1 I think this depends on the length of the novel and skill of the writer. Arthur Haily could have a dozen and the book would be long.
In my last novel
BQ2 He didn't trust his coworkers and choose to go back to a life of petty crime.
BQ3 He was good with his hands and could cook well. (and pick pockets)
BQ5 I don't care about species
BQ6 For an occasional sci-fi story, yes. But it's usually whimsical.
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When your main plot is dark, your subplot should be light. The comparisons bounce of each other well.
BQ - IMHO, no more than 2.
BQ2 - Can be too cocky at times
BQ2 - Extremely loyal
BQ4 - No
BQ5/BQ 6 - I make up races from different planets, but they are humanoid.
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Originally Answered: Is this a good story plot?
I guess you have researched your audience category and know who you are writing for. The storyline is okay but I feel you need to tweak some key elements to create more momentum.
For instance, what experience leads to Violet's power? Is it a near-death situation? How does she connect with Knox? Must he necessarily rule time and karma? Would it not be enough to just imbue him with the knowledge of the karma effect so that Violet remains the focal character?
Also, consider what the growth arc is for Violet from start to finish. If she starts out dorky, does she attain cool status and then discover it is not really what she wants?
Finally, regardless of what tweaks you do in the plot, how you show the story on the page will decide if it works.
Hope this helps. Good luck.