In Part 1, iUniverse discussed the difficulty – and necessity – of finally saying “that’s enough” for your characters. Now, we move on to talking about how to finish resolving your plot while not getting bogged down with too many subplots.
While many novels just have one plot, a great deal of novels also have at least one subplot. While subplots can add more diversity (and pages) to your novel, one thing is crucial: they must reach a resolution. If not, it is one of the first things that critics will notice and criticize.
Main plots: Some authors become so involved in the momentum of their story that they are unable to bring the action, or main issue, to a close. However, this can be remedied by looking at the outline of your book. When you view it from top to bottom, circle the point at which the novel reaches its climax – which of course is the resolution of the plot. At this point, you can allow yourself one last chapter. Writers who are writing a series of books can use this to introduce a new problem or issue for their next book, but the important thing is to not “drag out” your story.
Subplots: iUniverse knows that subplots have two main functions: to add variety to your book, as well as to add some more pages. At the same time, please bear in mind that subplots can be risky. It is often fun to begin them, but they become easily forgotten about as you invest more time in your main plot and characters. We suggest having not more than two subplots, and that you resolve them before resolving your main plot, or immediately after in an “epilogue”. A subplot that you find particularly consuming may very well be best for another novel that you wish to write.
So what stage have you reached in YOUR novel?