I'm writing a long-ish short story that has a plot and subplot. What are some good ways of ordering the scenes so it's not just plot/subplot/plot/subplot? Thank you.
Does P/S/P/S not work? Depending on the length of the story, it might not even be obvious. More on that in a minute.
The plot deserves the limelight, so add extra plot scenes, then punctuate them with a subplot scene. P/S/P/P/S for example.
Once you reach the proper flow, your readers will get into it, too, and they’re not going to map out the meta-order of the scenes unless you’re in a writing class discussing the structure of the short story.
Plotting a novel or a screenplay is a lot more structured, mostly because the length requires that the story be laid out on a framework that’s both logical and psychologically satisfying. And there’s more than one way to do that even. If what you’re really getting yourself into is a novella, you’re going to have to pay more attention to novel/screenplay structure.
But for a short story, work for flow of the story you need to tell. Just tell it. Just write it. When you’re done, you can let it sit and then go back and get all meta on yourself. Beta readers can help, too.
Warning: I was doing some internet searches for advice on short story structure not too long ago and honestly, I found a shit ton of shitty advice out there. Worse than any search I’ve ever done for this blog. I’m considering doing a critique of what I found, although I won’t be calling out any one site or author (or content mill???).
- Mod Aliya