Thursday, December 15, 2005

Plot Threads

Day three of Wiesner's outlineing method involves writing out all the plot threads and the overall plot goal of the story. Now, this is not a bad idea, and writing out the subplot threads (some of which might only be minor side interests and not what I would consider a real subplot at all) can be very useful. With the list in front of you, you can look out for opportunities to weave these threads into the story. On the other hand, I really think that McKee's Story does a much better job with this. Wiesner's worksheet is pretty superficial. I don't know if she will do more with it later, but right now I'm not too impressed with it. Anything that gets you thinking about plot is good, but I would look to McKee for good theory-based suggestions over just random brainstorming (even though that, too, has it's place).

One thing that does concern me about my story is that I don't normally think too much about real subplots. Most of my fiction-writing background is in short stories -- where having subplots is a really bad idea. I'm concerned that the novel I'm writing won't have enough depth, although I will admit I had no trouble identifying a number of subplot threads as Wiesner defines them. This is something that wold be very difficult to add in later, so it's somewhat important that I deal with this in the first draft. I am telling the tale from the points of view of both the protagonist and the antagonist (who is also a somewhat sympathetic character), so I don't really want to confuse the issue with needless subplots. But are they needless? That's the real question here...

No comments: