20 Ideas for high-stakes subplots

20 Ideas for high-stakes subplots

20 Ideas for High-Stakes Subplots

In the vibrant tapestry of storytelling, subplots play a crucial role in weaving depth and complexity into the narrative. While romance often takes the spotlight as a popular subplot choice, there’s a vast universe of equally compelling themes waiting to be explored. In this post, we dive into 20 high-stakes subplot ideas that steer clear of romantic narratives, offering a refreshing twist to your storytelling arsenal. Whether you’re crafting a thrilling adventure, a poignant drama, or an insightful character study, these ideas are designed to bring authenticity and relatability to your tales. From the intricate webs of family secrets to the adrenaline-fueled challenges of survival, these subplot concepts promise to enrich your narrative and captivate your audience, one page at a time.

Here are 20 ideas for high-stakes subplots that can enhance your narrative:

  1. Family Secrets Revealed: A character discovers a deeply buried family secret that challenges their identity and loyalties.
  2. A Race Against Time: A character must solve a puzzle or complete a task within a tight deadline to prevent a disaster.
  3. A Moral Dilemma: The protagonist faces a difficult choice between two equally undesirable outcomes, testing their ethics.
  4. A Quest for Revenge: A character seeks vengeance for a past injustice, which becomes an obsessive and potentially destructive pursuit.
  5. Survival Challenge: Characters find themselves in a survival situation, such as being stranded in the wilderness or trapped in a dangerous place.
  6. The Whistleblower: A character discovers corruption or illegal activities in their workplace or community and struggles with whether to expose it.
  7. A Health Crisis: A character or someone they care about faces a serious health issue, adding emotional and practical challenges.
  8. An Identity Crisis: A character questions their life choices, career, or personal identity, leading to significant changes and self-discovery.
  9. Betrayal and Trust: A character is betrayed by someone they trusted, leading to a reevaluation of relationships and values.
  10. A Secret Life: A character leads a double life that they must keep hidden, creating tension and risk of exposure.
  11. A Fight for Justice: A character becomes involved in a legal or social battle to right a wrong or expose an injustice.
  12. Overcoming Addiction: A character’s struggle with addiction impacts their life and relationships, leading to a journey of recovery.
  13. A Hidden Talent or Power: A character discovers they have a unique skill or supernatural ability that changes their life’s trajectory.
  14. A Political Intrigue: The character gets entangled in a complex political plot, involving power plays and manipulations.
  15. An Unlikely Friendship: Two characters from vastly different backgrounds or viewpoints form a deep, non-romantic bond.
  16. Cultural or Religious Conflict: A character navigates the challenges of cultural or religious differences in their community or family.
  17. An Inherited Responsibility: A character unexpectedly inherits a business, title, or responsibility they are not prepared for.
  18. A Quest for Knowledge: A character is driven to uncover the truth about a historical event, a family mystery, or a scientific enigma.
  19. A Journey of Forgiveness: A character struggles to forgive someone who wronged them deeply, exploring themes of healing and reconciliation.
  20. Protecting a Secret: A character must go to great lengths to protect a secret that could have major implications if revealed.

Each of these subplot ideas can add complexity and depth to your story, creating engaging narratives that resonate with readers. The key is to ensure that these subplots intertwine with the main plot in meaningful ways, contributing to character development and the overall story arc.

Up Next: Outsmarting Yourself: A Writer’s Guide to Genius Characters

How to Write an ESTP Character

How to Write an ESTP Character

How to Write an ESTP Character

Series: The Psychology of Character Creation


Welcome to the thrilling world of ESTP characters! If you’re a writer looking to add some zest to your story, you’re in the right place. ESTP, or the Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving type from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), is often described as the ‘life of the party.’ But there’s more to them than just charisma. Let’s dive in!

Understanding the ESTP Personality:

ESTPs are known for their love of action, adventure, and living in the moment. They’re practical, observant, and enjoy a hands-on approach to life. When writing an ESTP character, think vibrant, dynamic, and often risk-taking.

ESTP Characters in Action:

They thrive in fast-paced, dynamic environments. Your ESTP character might be the first to jump into a conflict or a spontaneous road trip. They’re doers, not dreamers, making them ideal for roles that require action and quick thinking.

ESTP Social Dynamics:

ESTPs are charismatic and have a natural talent for influencing others. They’re usually surrounded by people but beware – they can be competitive and blunt, which might not sit well with more sensitive characters.

ESTP Character Flaws and Strengths:

No character is complete without flaws. ESTPs can be impulsive, sometimes acting before thinking. They might struggle with long-term commitments or plans, preferring to live in the ‘now.’ But their strengths lie in their adaptability, resourcefulness, and undeniable charm.

ESTP Character Dialogue:

Witty, direct, and often humorous. ESTPs don’t beat around the bush. Their language is straightforward, and they’re not afraid to say what’s on their mind.

Developing ESTP Relationships:

ESTPs love freedom and may shy away from deep emotional bonds. However, their loyalty to friends and loved ones is undeniable. In your story, show the struggle between their love for independence and their deep, albeit sometimes hidden, capacity for care.

Plotting an ESTP Character:

They shine in stories that involve adventure, conflict, and problem-solving. Give them challenges to overcome, preferably ones that require a physical or strategic response.

Conclusion: How to Write an ESTP Character

In conclusion, writing an ESTP character is all about balance. Balance their charisma with their impulsiveness, their boldness with their vulnerability. Let them be the life of the party, but also show the depth that lies beneath that vivacious exterior.

Happy writing, and may your ESTP characters leap off the page and straight into the hearts of your readers!

Here are some attributes to add to your ESTP Characters:

Poor planner
Adrenaline Seeker
Dislikes Rules
Loves attention

Here are some ESTP Characters

Tyler Durden (Fight Club)
Maxine “Max” Mayfield (Stranger Things)
Eugene Fitzherbert “Flynn Rider” (Tangled)
Hank Schrader (Breaking Bad)
Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries)
Bellamy Blake (The 100)
Carl Grimes (The Walking Dead)
Sirius Black (Harry Potter)
Jesper Fahey (Six of Crows)


Up Next: How to write an INTP Character

Want to learn more about the Meyers-Brigg 16 Personalities? Click Here


How to Write a Ballroom Scene: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Write a Ballroom Scene: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Write a Ballroom Scene: A Step-by-Step Guide

As a fiction writer, you might find yourself drawn to the allure of a ballroom scene. These moments offer the perfect backdrop for romance, intrigue, and drama. Crafting a captivating ballroom scene can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can transport your readers to a world of elegance and excitement. In this guide, we’ll explore the key elements and tips to help you write a memorable ballroom scene that will leave your readers eagerly turning the pages.

Set the Ballroom Scene:

Begin by vividly describing the ballroom itself. Is it grand and opulent, with crystal chandeliers and gilded mirrors, or is it more intimate and mysterious, lit only by candlelight? Use sensory details to transport your readers into this enchanting world.

Create Atmosphere:

Atmosphere is crucial to making your ballroom scene come alive. Consider the mood you want to convey. Is it a joyful celebration, a formal affair, or a clandestine meeting? Use descriptive language and imagery to convey the ambiance of the event.

Develop Your Characters:

Your characters are the heart of your ballroom scene. Introduce them in a way that reflects their emotions and motivations for being at the ball. Are they excited, nervous, or reluctant attendees? Show their thoughts and feelings through their actions, dialogues, and inner monologues.

Show Off the Fashion:

YA readers love to dive into the world of fashion, and a ballroom scene is the perfect opportunity to do just that. Describe the characters’ attire in detail. This is a chance to reveal character traits and social status through clothing choices.

Use Intriguing Dialogue:

Engage your readers with compelling dialogues. Ballroom scenes are perfect for characters to exchange witty banter, confessions, and secrets. Allow your characters to interact in a way that advances the plot and reveals their personalities.

Incorporate Conflict:

Drama and conflict are essential for maintaining reader interest. Create tension by introducing rivalries, misunderstandings, or unexpected confrontations. These conflicts can add depth to your characters and drive the plot forward.

Highlight Symbolism:

Use the ballroom scene as an opportunity to introduce or reinforce symbolism within your story. This could be through the dances, decorations, or even the location itself. Symbolism can add layers to your narrative and help convey deeper themes.

Showcase Dancing:

Don’t forget the dancing itself! Describe the dance moves, the music, and the connection between dancing partners. Use dance as a way to convey emotions and relationships between characters.

Play with Foreshadowing:

A well-crafted ballroom scene can serve as a pivotal moment in your story. Use it to foreshadow future events, secrets, or conflicts. Readers love to pick up on hints and clues that make them eager to keep turning the pages.

Balance Description and Action:

Balancing descriptive passages with action is crucial. While readers enjoy the ambiance and character interactions, be sure to keep the story moving forward to maintain their interest.

Conclusion: Writing a Ballroom Scene

Incorporating a ballroom scene into your young adult novel can add depth, romance, and excitement to your story. Remember to immerse your readers in the world you’ve created, bring your characters to life, and use the scene to advance the plot and character development. With these tips in mind, your ballroom scene will captivate your audience and leave them yearning for more. Happy writing!

Up Next: Outsmarting Yourself: A Writer’s Guide to Genius Characters

5 Tips to Make Your Anti-Hero Character Unforgettable

5 Tips to Make Your Anti-Hero Character Unforgettable

5 Tips to Make Your Anti-Hero Character Unforgettable

Introduction :Make Your Anti-Hero Character Unforgettable

Anti-heroes – they’re not your standard cape-wearing, morally unambiguous champions. These characters are complex, often flawed, and incredibly human. But how do you transform your anti-hero from a mere concept into a character that leaps off the page and grabs your reader’s attention? Let’s dive into the 5 essential tips to make your anti-hero character a hit.

Crafting a Complicated Backstory for your Anti-Hero Character

An anti-hero isn’t born in a vacuum. Their actions and attitudes are often the result of a complicated, nuanced backstory. Whether it’s a troubled childhood, a significant loss, or a moral dilemma that went south, these experiences shape your anti-hero, making them relatable and real. Remember, a well-crafted backstory adds depth, not justification for all actions.

Balancing Flaws with Redeeming Qualities

The key to a successful anti-hero character is balance. Yes, they might make questionable choices, but there should be redeeming qualities that endear them to the reader. Perhaps it’s a sense of humor in the face of adversity, loyalty to a chosen few, or an unwavering pursuit of their goals. This balance keeps readers rooting for them, despite their flaws.

Create Sympathy Without Justification

It’s a tightrope walk, but crucial. Your readers should be able to sympathize with your anti-hero without feeling like their actions are outright justified. This can be achieved through their backstory, their interactions with other characters, or their internal monologue. Show the human side of your anti-hero, but don’t gloss over their darker aspects.

Let Them Evolve Over the Story

Static characters are a big no-no, especially for anti-heroes. Your character should evolve through the story, learning from their experiences. This evolution can be positive or negative, but it must be significant. Change is vital to keeping your anti-hero dynamic and engaging.

Challenge Them with Moral Dilemmas

The true essence of an anti-hero lies in how they navigate moral gray areas. Present them with dilemmas that test their boundaries and beliefs. These challenges should force the character (and your readers) to question what’s right and wrong, blurring the lines between heroism and villainy.

Conclusion: Making Anti-Hero Character Unforgettable

Creating an effective anti-hero character is about striking the right balance between light and dark. By following these tips, you’ll be able to craft a character that’s not only complex and intriguing but also profoundly human. Remember, the best anti-heroes are those who mirror the intricate, often contradictory nature of real people.

Up Next: Outsmarting Yourself: A Writer’s Guide to Genius Characters

Unique Fire-Inspired Character Names

Unique Fire-Inspired Character Names

Unique Fire-Inspired Character Names

20 Fire Names for characters (names meaning fire)

When crafting compelling characters in your stories, choosing the perfect name can be a vital element in bringing them to life. Names can convey a character’s personality, history, and even foreshadow their role in the plot. In this blog post, we explore character names inspired by the element of fire, each with its unique meaning and symbolism.

1. Ignatius:

Meaning: Ignatius is a strong and fiery name of Latin origin, derived from “Ignis,” which means “fire.” This name is perfect for a passionate and determined character who burns with intensity in their pursuits.

2. Seraphina:

Meaning: Seraphina is a name of Hebrew origin and is associated with seraphim, the highest-ranking angels in Judeo-Christian tradition. These angels are often depicted with fiery wings and symbolize divine love and passion.

3. Blaze:

Meaning: Blaze is a name that needs no explanation. It represents the intense, roaring flames of fire. This name suits a character who is bold, fierce, and always ready to take action.

4. Vulcan:

Meaning: Vulcan is a name with Roman mythology ties, associated with the god of fire and metalworking. It’s a great choice for a character who possesses exceptional craftsmanship and a fiery spirit.

5. Ember:

Meaning: Ember refers to the smoldering remnants of a fire. Naming your character Ember can symbolize their resilience and ability to rise from the ashes, even in the face of adversity.

6. Pyrrhus:

Meaning: Pyrrhus is a Greek name meaning “flame-colored” or “red.” It can be fitting for a character with a fiery temper or a penchant for risk-taking.

7. Lumiya:

Meaning: Lumiya is a unique and beautiful name inspired by the Finnish word “lumi,” which means “snow.” Naming a character Lumiya can symbolize the juxtaposition of fire and ice, reflecting a complex and multifaceted personality.

8. Phoenix:

Meaning: The phoenix is a mythical bird that is reborn from its ashes, representing renewal and transformation. Naming a character Phoenix can suggest their ability to overcome challenges and emerge stronger.

9. Solene:

Meaning: Solene is a name of French origin and is derived from “soleil,” which means “sun.” The sun is a powerful source of fire and energy, making this name suitable for a radiant and warm-hearted character.

10. Flint:

Meaning: Flint is a type of stone used to create sparks for starting fires. This name is ideal for a character who is resilient, resourceful, and always ready to ignite change.

11. Agni:

Meaning: Agni is the Sanskrit word for “fire” and is associated with the Vedic fire god. This name is perfect for a character who embodies the essence of fire and transformation.

12. Calida:

Meaning: Calida is a Latin name that means “ardent” or “hot.” It’s an excellent choice for a character who is passionate, fervent, and radiates warmth.

13. Enara:

Meaning: Enara is a Basque name that translates to “flame.” It symbolizes the intensity and brightness of a character’s spirit.

14. Inigo:

Meaning: Inigo is a Spanish name derived from “ignis,” meaning “fire.” It’s a strong and fiery name for a character who possesses great strength and determination.

15. Vulcania:

Meaning: Vulcania is a feminine form of Vulcan and is a powerful name for a character who commands both fire and passion.

16. Fiammetta:

Meaning: Fiammetta is an Italian name that means “little flame.” It’s a charming and endearing name for a character who brings light and warmth to those around them.

17. Solstice:

Meaning: The solstice is a celestial event marking the peak of the sun’s power and the longest day of the year. Naming a character Solstice can evoke the energy and vibrancy of fire.

18. Brisa:

Meaning: Brisa is a Spanish name that means “breeze” or “fire.” This name can represent a character who possesses the gentleness of a breeze but can also ignite fiery passions.

19. Flare:

Meaning: Flare is a name that directly signifies a sudden burst of fire or light. It’s a name for a character who can be unpredictable and intense.

20. Surya:

Meaning: Surya is the name of the Hindu sun god, symbolizing the radiant and life-giving power of the sun. This name is a great choice for a character who brings light and warmth to the lives of others.

Conclusion: Fire-Inspired Character Names

Choosing a character name based on fire can add depth and symbolism to your storytelling. Whether you opt for a fiery and bold name like Blaze or something more subtle like Lumiya, each name carries its own unique meaning and can help your readers connect with your characters on a deeper level. So, ignite your imagination and let the flames of creativity guide you as you name your fiery characters!

Up Next: Outsmarting Yourself: A Writer’s Guide to Genius Characters