I hate pot holes. You’re driving along, nice and smooth, jamming out to your tunes when out of nowhere BUMPASDFGHJHJL THE CAR JOLTS AND FEELS LIKE IT’S GOING TO FALL APART AND IT MIGHT ACTUALLY CAUSE IT’S REALLY OLD. And where there’s one pot hole, there’s more. So yes, pot holes are very…

Wait, you meant “plot holes?”

*runs away and falls down a to hole to Wonderland and is never seen again*

Plot holes are a fact of life for writers. They come in many shapes and sizes….world building plot holes, geographical (how did they get from that place to the next?) plot holes, character motivation holes, holes in the villain’s evil mastermind plan, holes in your brain from staring at the computer for too long (wait – no – I hope you don’t get holes in your brain) etc. etc. etc. ETC.

But what happens when you find one?? You’re working through your manuscript when there it is. What if you jump inside the plot hole? Does it transport you to an alternate universe????

According to my data, it doesn’t, which is unfortunate. But don’t despair! There are other options and your manuscript isn’t doomed.

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First of all, there is the old standby: RUN AWAY.

Pack your bags. Grab some books, food, and water and get going. Take a vacation and go to the beach and forget about everything.

Downside: Your plot hole will remain…just…you won’t be thinking about it.

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Just stare. Stare at the plot hole until your eyes bleed, or it’s dinner time, or it’s time to sleep…

Plain staring at the plot hole in your WIP probably won’t work (if it does, well cheers mate!). BUT, with a pen and paper, things just might work out.

This is my old trick. I write down the problem, I write down the options. It’s like jumping jacks. It gets the blood pumping. Writing things down get the ideas to start flowing.

 

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Have some writing buddies? Editors? Close confidents? Anyone who you like bouncing ideas off of? Your cat?

Some people need to talk to other people to process (that’s not me btw). If you are one those people, talking to someone might help get the blood pumping for you.

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just wait and a plot bunny will fall like lightning from the sky.

*WARNING: This actually does happen and sometimes at inopportune moments like during dinner, or at a party, or some sort of social gathering. Conceal bunny quickly before it gets scared and runs away*

Sometimes I will sit on plot holes for a while and wait for the inspiration to strike. And when it does your life becomes %1000000 times better.

Obviously, if you have deadlines and whatever…no time to wait for the plot bunnies.

*leave carrots out just in case*

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Filling in a plot hole isn’t like stuffing it with clay so that the pieces nicely fit together, because sometimes…

Sometimes to fix things you need to break things.

At times you find the answer to the plot hole, but the answer affects different parts of the story, changes things, add scenes, cuts characters, adds characters…In others words, filling a plot hole can actually be like adding a whole new plot to the story which is very chaotic and traumatizing for everyone involved.

NEVERTHELESS. Don’t be afraid.

If you want to make your WIP shine, if you want a great plot-hole-less novel, you gotta take the plunge.

You won’t regret it.

 

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5 thoughts on “5 Things to Do With Those Giant Plot Holes

  1. All very true (and witty!)
    My characters let me know soon enough and come up with their own suggestions. Then if I don’t listen they gang up on me and take over for a while (I still shudder at the efficiently brutal (but justified) eradication of the rom-com interlude in my latest work)

    Like

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