Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stir Up a Whirlwind of Curiosity

I tend to enjoy novels that have multiple threads. They are the most memorable for me. To give your book more interest and originality, consider working in some subplots to further pique curiosity in your readers and make your book harder to put down.

Let’s take a look at Dark Rivers of the Heart by Dean Koontz. Here’s the summary from my book review:

When Spencer Grant, an ex-law enforcement officer, who’s living off the grid, tries to reacquaint with Valerie Keene, a waitress who dazzled him in a bar, he discovers she’s being hunted by government officials on a mission to kill her. From what he knows of her, they can’t possibly have good reason for wanting her dead. His quest to find her makes him the target of an assassin, who works for the shadow agency hunting Valerie and kills emotionally wounded or physically hindered individuals to show them mercy.

While tracking down Valerie with his trusty, skittish dog, Rocky, by his side, the internally and externally scarred Spencer must not only uncover a buried memory that haunts his dreams and is just a breath away but also avoid the most efficient eyes and ears on the planet. Finally reuntied, he and Valerie embark on the run of their lives in a nail-biting chase. Frustrated and peeved, the assassin pulls out all the stops and drudges up Spencer’s worst nightmare to use as a snare, jerking various characters into a stomach-churning climax, leaving readers cringing and unsure as to who if any of them will survive.

Now, in this book, not only does the main character have a desire to find a woman he likes, he also must unravel the mystery of something from his past he can’t remember. Then when he finds her, he aims to win her heart and has to face the reason for his scars in order to beat the man who's out for their blood.

The book also opens us up to the antagonist's mission, a partner in crime he finds, and we learn about the flight MC's love interest is in.

The best way you build in subplots is by constructing well-rounded characters, who have many goals and desires as well as pertinent pasts. You can also have several characters with different goals, all aiming for something they want or need.

In my latest work, Sapphire Reign , I have several storylines that seem completely different and separate, like individual rainbows, but they all move towards each other and finally intersect and collide in a big dome and explosion of color.

Dig into your story and your characters to find the extra extras you can add to enhance the read. Go for depth, breadth, scope. Stir up a whirlwind of curiosity with your work. All the unmet goals will be as important to your readers as they are to your characters. Keep writing. Rock on!

~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.

1 comment:

  1. I love having many subplots. I think I like it too much; I had to get rid of two for my current work. I think what I have now is good for the story--before it was taking the book off track.