Matching Socks – How To Determine If Your Subplot & Plot Match

If your house is anything like mine, socks are a nightmare. We have this basket of strays that always seems to grow taller, but no matches are found.

How is it that a sock can disappear so quickly? Is it the dryer monster that eats them or the washer monster, or could it be the whoops I dropped you on the way to the laundry room?

I have finally resorted to something that works. Money. A nickle for every matching pair the kids pull out of the basket. That may sound like a small number, but considering the number of socks in that basket, well I could be broke in five minutes.

Matching socks is harder than it should be, but so is matching our subplot and plot in our novels. How can we be sure we are doing it right?

Your Plot and Subplot Are Mismatched If:

*The subplot does not feed back into the story plot. If you have two plots going along side of each other without a tie in together at the end of the book and interwoven parts throughout, you have parallel plots. This is a sure sign that your plot and subplot are mismatched.

*If your subplot has more scenes than your plot. This is a very common problem for writers. We fall in love with the subplot and it takes over our plot.

*If your subplot does not add to the plot. Does it add depth to the spiritual journey? Or layers to the main story that make it richer? If not, you are mismatched.

*If you have a novel that is less than 60,000 words. In this case, most editors will tell you that you don’t have room to fully develop a subplot in this size of a manuscript.

*If your subplot starts at the beginning of the novel and not the other way around. Your subplot should usually start around the beginning of Act 2. If you start out with the POV scene of a subplot character, chances are you are mismatched.

What are some other signs that you use to determine if your plot and subplot are mismatched?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

2 thoughts on “Matching Socks – How To Determine If Your Subplot & Plot Match

  1. If it’s more interesting than your plot. Maybe you’re writing the wrong book. lol

  2. Michelle Lim says:

    Great truth in that!

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