My favorite. I am so at home with complex sub-plotting it gets me into trouble. How so? Because that throws me into series plotting... and series sells, but not for a first-time sale. (Easily).

A complex subplot is just what it says. You take the simple subplot and complicate it. This can involve a multitude of different tactics. My favorite, however, is adding in a story-line that can open up for a second book.

So, let's look at Amy, Paul, Edward and Eleanor, and let's back up before there's a conflict that ends our story. Let's add on to Eleanor's quest to save the servants.

Enter James and Julie. James and Julie died in the house as relatively young, and they were newly wedded. Let's make Edward very bad. Let's say Julie was his sister. She married James without his permission. Edward found out, he killed them both.

James and Julie are aware of each other in ghostly-form, and they long to have back the life that was taken from them. We'll make them very gut-wrenching characters that you want to cry over because of their lost love and their longing to be back together. We'll so this, so our sub-plot becomes interesting, not just nonsense going on.

In Eleanor's plan to free the souls, we will have a resolution (hopefully) for James and Julie.

We accomplish this by adding in additional scenes yet. We show the ghostly pair perhaps trying to hold hands. Wanting to touch, aching for a hug, a kiss. And Julie's ghostly sobs when she cannot.

James and Julie do not need to be aware of Eleanor's plan to free the souls. And, as far as the reader needs to know, the plan to free the souls, only frees them to find the light.

But James and Julie are searching for a means to be able to experience each other physically, even if they are still ghosts. We incorporate scenes to build this, and give them 'action' in working toward this goal.

So your story has gone from Paul and Amy need to admit love, to Paul and Amy need to admit love while Eleanor frees the souls, to Paul and Amy need to admit love while Eleanor frees the souls while James and Julie must find a way to have a real kiss.

Two separate plots that go on around the central plot. To tie this into series, perhaps close to the resolution of Paul and Amy, and Eleanor and Edward, we have EITHER James or Julie find physical form, but the other does not. Book2 becomes putting James and Julie together. (Which of course, must involve something entirely different than Paul and Amy.)

And that is what I personally find easiest to build.

Comments? Questions?



3 Responses so far.

  1. Edward sure like killing people, doesn't he!! I'm starting to get curious about him and his inner desires. What makes him so mean? And what will bring peace to his soul? Could he perhaps be book 3 in the series?

  2. Great post! I didn't know you were blogging until I read Linda Kage's post. Now I'm a follower!


  3. If you know of any romance writers looking for a small critique group, please send them my way. I'm hosting a contest on my blog in hopes of gathering a little crew. Thanks.

    Lynnette Labelle

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