Christ Barth wanted to talk about subplots this week, and it couldn't be more timely. I have a big story, meaning ST, in Branded. It's not a category plot matter. It's also not really suspense, which I usually have in my stories.
I don't have a great sub-plot in this book. Argh! What to do? I've been wracking my brain. (I know, Christi, if I'd plotted, I wouldn't have this problem)! Anyway, I need a sub-plot. I thought about cattle rustling, but my friend and CP, Sara, is doing that, and I don't steal. I thought about a land or water grab. Yawn. Just not coming to me in this book. The funny part is I usually have too much story. Not too little.
My other buddy Kristi says eds on the boards are saying they want streamlined plots. But how streamlined? Like down to one main story with nothing else. Yuk. For me that would be like eating potato stew with no meat in it. I need a sub-plot!
I just got my story Mississippi Blues back from the FAB contest with editor comments. This story has two full love stories intertwined in it. Both eds commented that they didn't like it. Both said they secondary characters overshadowed the main couple.
I'm searching for a happy medium in this area for Branded. A super sub-plot that doesn't overwhelm, but one that makes my big book full.
What about you? What makes a book's sub-plot satisfying?