How to Build Subplots From Multiple Viewpoints

How to Build Subplots From Multiple Viewpoints

Multiple viewpoints provide diversion from, and contrast to, the protagonist’s perspective. They can deepen conflict, enlarge a story’s scope and add to a novel the rich texture of real life. Subplots carry those effects even further. In our workaday world, we do not live in isolation. Our lives intersect, collide and overlap. Subplots lend the same sense of connectivity to a novel. They remind us of our mutual need, our inescapable conflicts and our intertwined destinies.

Subplots and multiple points of view are often linked by their very natures. When you introduce several point-of-view characters in your story, you will be presented with the choice to create subplots for these characters and weave them into the main plot. How many secondary characters and subplots you choose to create will ultimately affect the pacing and structure of your novel.

Of course, subplots and multiple points of view make novels longer and more work, but rewards for that effort are there for writer and reader alike—that is, if they are successful.

—By Donald Maass,
author of The Breakout Novelist

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