How do I Write a Subplot?

I’m thinking about writing a few subplots in my story, but I have idea how to write one, or even know what they are! Can someone educate me and maybe give me some tips?



It really depends on the story you are writing. A classic example could be inserting a romantic endeavour amidst the main conflict.

I would personally define a subplot as anything that has it’s own arc while not immediately needed for the main storyline. Based on that, it does lean on what the main storyline is. It could be grabbing a side artefact, dealing with a sudden loss (that’s not forefront), or just side characters having their own plot in between chapters.

I can help you come up with some, but I’d also say that it’s straightforward once you get the hang of it or learn to identify what counts as one.

Could I ask for a general summary for your story?


Well, I’m not revising yet (this would be my second time doing so), but…
My story is a high school story about a black girl from Illinois who’s moving to a new city (from that state) and attending a new school. Along the way, she meets a black Muslim from Egypt (that’s my plan for her), and even later on, 2 black twins from Georgia. Together, they bond and go through certain events like getting involved with the mean girls, (maybe, Idk) going around Illinois for a bit of an adventure, and (maybe) even flirt with certain characters (not all of them). I was thinking about writing a few romantic subplots, and I wanted to to know how I could do that without overdoing it or taking away from the premise (which is surviving and graduating high school). Also, I wanted to make sure my readers get to know all of my main and side characters.


Added some tags!

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There already seems to be a heavy focal point on racial diversity for a simple school plot. If you feel ready to tackle such terms, overcoming those barriers or standing up for certain values could definitely be a subplot (or even the main one if that’s how the story goes.)

Another one could be the Illinois girl struggling to adapt to the lifestyle of her new city and making friends. Maybe some of the friends have a minor falling out that needs to be repaired. The romantic subplot could be made more complicated with the girls falling for each other within the friend group and working through making or breaking their friendship based on personal feelings.

That being said, the plot basis you listed is far from complete unless you just forgot to include the ending and major conflict. I would have a story structure first before doing anything extra.


I don’t have an ending yet, as I haven’t gotten to the middle :sweat_smile:


Finishing the story should be the priority then. The fastest way to get burnout is by fleshing out everything far too early because none of it will match up down the road.