Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My interesting discovery about plot holes.

Hi all! Just want to leave another reminder to pencil in 24 June. There's a voucher at stake! ^_^

Then, I want to ask you to go over and say hi to my friend, Theresa. I did a double whammy and drew her over to the Dark Side. She's starting to write and... she's starting to blog. So please head over to I Need To Write and show your support and love. :-)

So... plot holes.

The bane of our existence, right? Every writer I know from the trenches had to face this nasty little weapon of mass procrastination.

Everything goes along swimmingly. Characters come and go. Story lines flow.

And then we almost stumble over a cliff. What do we do?

Turning back is an option (if you're drafting on a computer), but then we have to live with the fact that you might have to settle for an end destination that wasn't your first choice. I hate that.

So... we stare at the abyss trying to find around or down.

Well... that's my discovery about plot holes. They shouldn't make us change direction or retreat.

It should make us think harder, knowing that every plot hole has a solution if you think about it long enough. And those solutions! They can potentially solve more problems than the ones you can see now.

So now I've come to love plot holes, even if it's just in the way I love annoying family members.

Because those cliffs aren't there to stop me. They're there to teach my writing how to fly.

How do you go about solving plot problems?


  1. Last year I got stuck in a major plot hole. I had to rethink my entire story, add few characters and kick myself out of the hole. Though I had outlined, I strayed far from it and got myself into trouble

  2. I knew the beginning and part of the ending to my new WIP, but the middle wasn't working at all. Too many characters, way too many adults for my MG audience, and a plot line I loved that just wouldn't fit itself in correctly. So I went back to the beginning and cut and pasted and rewrote and took people out and took that plot line out and changed another - and then stopped because I got too busy - and here I am, ready to jump off that cliff, too.

  3. Creativity and imagination are key to filling in those plot holes.

  4. I love when one gaping hole provides the opportunity to fill a bunch of tiny holes at the same time. It's great :)

  5. If at first you don't succeed..., I think it's great the way you take a problem and wring out an answer.

  6. I outline first. That usually irons out the major holes. Other than that I forge ahead and get 2nd opinions and map out possibilities on the whiteboard.

  7. Starring at the wall seems to not be fixing my current plot hole. Guess I need to start kicking my butt to begin working on it after work. Lazing around reading has been so much easier after work.

  8. Oh plot holes...In general, I like to think of plot holes as most other holes, you plug it. Something has to fill that hole and cling to it to make it work coherently. You can't just slap a patch on it and expect everything to go fine and dandy, because soon enough your patch will begin to get worn at the edges and eventually peel right off. It does require a good bit of brain power! Great post!

    Also wanted to share that I passed a couple of blog awards on to you. Please go check them out over at my blog!

  9. I try to do the same thing that you do--the plot hole is an opportunity to learn to fly. I think of them as challenges not mistakes. Mostly they've made my books better.

  10. Rachna I think that's where my plot holes come from. I don't plot, so I tend to not think of everything when I start writing. :-)

    Have a safe flight, Erica! ;-)

    True Michael. Plot holes amp up our thinking when we think we have every aspect of our writing figured out.

    Rebecca I love those too. In fact, I make the effort to make each solution solve multiple problems. That way, it feels as if it's supposed to be there. In stead of just a lame excuse to cover a glaring plot hole.

    Anthony, that saying definitely applies to story-building. In stead of panicing with every failure, I see it as trying to put differently shaped blocks into a hole. One will fit.

    Lynda I go for the major plot holes in my head before I start. What I didn't prepare for was the effect that changing up the voice of a character would have on the most important event in the story...

    Hehehe Steph, I laze around too. Not because I'm giving up on the idea, but rather because I'm waiting for it to occur to me.

    Caitlin that's so true. Flimsy solutions to plot holes never hold up well. Thanks for the awards!

    I agree, Connie. They do more than just solve the plot problem. They also add a layer of credibility to the story. So it's important to solve them in the best way possible.


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