Tips for Writing a Fiction Book (Part Three)

The first tip for writing a fiction book highlighted how outlining your novel can help develop ideas, while the second tip focused on added character development. This last tip will emphasize how to flesh out your novel with subplots.

Building Depth

Creating supplementary stories to your main storyline really helps to engage readers by giving your novel depth (as opposed to a boring, linear story). Also, it allows you to put your characters into situations that vary from the central plot which can enhance certain attributes or demonstrate a different side of your characters.

Unless you’re creating a children’s book, readers want complexity and substance that will make them question characters’ motives and actions. By having a subplot or two, it supplies an opportunity for your characters to expand out of their conventional element into situations where they can display more personality or abilities that wouldn’t be possible within the structure of the main plot.

Make it Connect

Of course, one of the major concerns is not to letting your subplots dominate your novel or water down the central plot. Subplots are meant to supplement, not supplant. Likewise, subplots need to be well-developed or they might take away the reader’s attention as they ask, “Why was that in there? What was the point of that?”

So, the trick is making the subplot secondary (which is what it’s supposed to be) to the main storyline, but at the same time making it relevant enough to have in the first place.


I hope that the three-part series of tips for writing a fiction book were helpful. As always, I’m interested in hearing what you think. Do you have additional tips for novelists? Feel free to write a comment below.

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Luis D. Bonilla
Wordszilla, LLC

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