Posted January 2018

Main Plot, Subplots and Threads


According to Aristotle in Poetics, a plot should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. A well-constructed plot cannot begin or end “at haphazard.” Instead, the beginning should naturally lead to some event or incident, and the end should tie up all loose ends. If we are to follow Aristotle’s advice for the main plot of their work, should we do the same for subplots and threads? Where do character arcs fit in? And how important is plot in low-concept and multi-viewpoint narratives? This webinar will explore these questions by looking at excerpts of popular fiction. We will also do an exercise to help you differentiate between the main plot, subplots, and threads of your work-in-progress.

Event Materials

Main Plots, Subplots, and Threads

According to Aristotle in Poetics, a plot should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. A well-constructed plot cannot begin or end “at haphazard.” If we are to follow Aristotle’s advice for the main plot of our work, should we do the same for subplots and threads? Where do character arcs fit in? This webinar explores these questions by looking at popular fiction. We will also do an exercise to help you differentiate between the main plot, subplots, and threads of your work-in-progress.

About Lecturer

About Sangeeta Mehta

Sangeeta Mehta has worked in the publishing field since the late 1990s. She has been an acquiring editor at both Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (the children's division of the Hachette Book Group) and Simon Pulse (the teen paperback division of Simon & Schuster). She currently consults on book projects for corporate and independent book publishers (with current and recent clients including Macmillan, Lee & Low, and Workman Publishing) and individual authors. She also mentors aspiring teen writers through the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES. A California native, Sangeeta moved to New York City in 2002, after working for two literary agents and earning a Masters degree in comparative literature from UCLA. She continues to live in the heart of the publishing industry and enjoys taking on clients from all over the world. Visit her website at www.mehtabookeditingnewyork.com.