excerpt from a twitter conversation with Rosie about plot-twists and sub-plots, which i just had to share:

I just meant that … well, novels are strange beasts. Sometimes a new character will pop up to throw a spanner in the works. Other times, the Wandering Shovel of Death might make an appearance. There may be love/romance, but it might not be straightforward, without obstacles. All of these things are what I would call plot twists, things that obstruct the MC’s path from A to B. Things that add layers to a novel. Things that *drive* the plot/conflict. So the MC walks from A to B, but at the other end a random stranger might say to them “Bloody hell, you took an unusual route to get here, didn’t you?” and the MC would look behind him and realise just how much he’s gone through to get to that place. …
That, to me, is what I love about novels. The journey that has Other Stuff Happening along the way but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Other Stuff is off on a tangent to the rest of the plot.
Mine is going all over the place at the moment. I can’t wait to get to work with the plot scissors and tidy it up! XD
(me): Plot scissors! i love it! are they like the Wandering Shovel Of Death? XD
Yes, but while the WSoD is like a wildcard that EXPLODES the plot and blows it wide open, the Plot Scissors are for going over the avant-garde exuberance of the WSoD and making it look all shiny and like I TOTALLY knew what I was doing at the time, even when I TOTALLY didn’t. 😉