Plots are an essential part of making a good book. It is essentially the story. It is what happens in the book and how it happens. I have seen good books filled with well-written characters and setting only to have a muddled or convoluted plot drag it down. Plot helps enhance the characters when the reader knows what is happening. So let’s begin.
Sometimes an author will make an convoluted plot filled with several subplots and characters that are contantly introduced. As you can guess, it can get quite messy. Don’t get me wrong, it can work, but more often than not it over complicates the story. Keep it simple. It’s ok to have a few subplots, but make sure to prioritize the main story. When you lose sight of the main conflict, you can end up losing the reader. If he/she ends up confused and has no idead what is happening, they will more than likely lose interest in the book. Sometimes authors add so many twists that I end up losing track of what is actually happening. I certainly see the appeal of a plot twist and when done correctly can add some depth and trigger many emotions (mostly shock). But do not add a plot twist for the sake of having a plot twist. If there is no context to the plot twist or any hints from previous chapters, the plot twist can end up hurting the book more than it helps it. I have seen movies that introduce plot twists and when I though about it, the plot of the movie just unraveled. Go ahead, add some subplots, but do not lose track of the main plot.
2. Keep the plot moving/ Advance the plot
This kind of relates to the first point. While priortizing the main conflict is important, keep the plot moving. Essentially, advance it. Now every page or maybe even every chapter does not have to keep the plot moving, but never ever stick too long in one place. It’s ok to have a chapter dedicated to devloping the character, in fact I prefer that you do. This becomes more apparent in books with tons of exposition. I get that your world has interesting lore with years of history behind it, but do not dump it to us all at once. Slowly develop it as the characters visit these interesting places or add it in moments. Now as I mentioned before, subplots are fine. When done correctly, they can add depth to a character or contribute to a shocking twist. But make sure to actually develop it. Spend a few pages making sure that the subplot is still advancing. YA novels usually opt for a romance as a subplot. Romance can be a tricky subject to handle and without advancing it or providing some interaction between the two or three(Warning:triangles usually suck) characters, it can feel rushed and provide little to no substance. Keep the plot moving, or if the story never moves, the reader will get bored.
3. Use all the characters
Characters are another crucial part of a book. Now the main characters will be in the majority of the story, but do not be afraid to dedicate some time to some of the supporting characters. Using some subplots or interaction between them can really develop the supporting characters creating a full cast of unique characters that can immerse and satisfy the reader. There is nothing to wrong with having too many great characters. Not only that but developing characters and having them all involved can create an emotional connection with the reader. It can make every action that affects them, punch that much harder. When you don’t advance a character’s arc and let’s say they die, the reader will shrug it off with little to no care. Developing all the characters can make the plot matter much more.
So that’s what I think makes a good plot. I probably did not cover all of the points, but these are what I believe to ve the most essential.