A while back, I weaved a sub-plot into a later draft of my WiP, The Midnight Man.
The sub-plot was suggested by a Beta Reader, but I’ve now ditched it, so I don’t mind sharing it with you.
One of my main characters, Asher (who only appears in Stanley’s dreams), has an evil motive. Asher is guided by Margeri Rep (an anagram of the Grim Reaper), who teaches the Midnight Men to befriend mortals so they can lead them to their deaths while they slumber.
When I got to the end of that draft, I hated it.
There’s a message about living your life your own way at the end of the story, which lost impact with this new sinister sub-plot. I even felt emotional at losing the strength of a piece I had worked on for years.
The reason I needed a sub-plot was for word count.
Often when I write a novel, I end up losing chapters from my outline I no longer need near the end, as plot points arrive earlier in the story for pace. So, I usually go back after a while with a sub-plot which is carefully weaved in. This also means a lot of re-reading and amending of other scenes.
With the most recent draft of this book, I worked out where the extra scenes were meant to be and wrote them in a separate Word Document. Then I made a copy of the last version of the manuscript, placed in the new chapters, then read the novel from start to finish amending both older and newer scenes for flow.
At time of writing, I’m submitting it.
I’m not sure if the last two new scenes fit yet as I need time to pass before I review it again. Fortunately, these initial submissions don’t require the whole document. And with the time it takes for the submission to be considered, the full manuscript will be ready if (fingers crossed) someone asks for it.