1. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Plot Holes

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Pythonforger, Jun 3, 2011.

    How do you deal with plot holes? Do you try to patch it up? Do you rewrite small parts of the story to fit? Do you try to draw attention to something else in the hopes that the reader won't notice? Do you burn your story, open up Word again and start from scratch?
     
  2. Unlucky#7
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    Unlucky#7 Member

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    Definitely burn up your story. Totally. While your at it, burn up your entire computer. Haha, kidding. Just burn the hard drive.

    Haha, have you already wrote the story?
     
  3. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    And "when there's nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire." --your ex-lover is dead, Stars.

    Oh, I never have plot holes.
    I guess I just patch it up? I mean, I don't really remember things I've done with my writing in the past, but I think there's been a few times when I've had a piece of dialogue that might have alluded to something and it just doesn't go anywhere, so I've removed that piece of dialogue or whatever.
    I guess that my writing kind of draws attention away from plot holes. I don't remember having too much of a problem with them.
     
  4. Unlucky#7
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    Unlucky#7 Member

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    Oh great...more red ink. I feel like I'm back in English class. Haha, actually thanks for fixing that. ;) At least now I know if I have any grammatical questions, you're my go-to guy! Haha.
     
  5. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Small holes can be patched up with explanations ("Well, he couldn't drink his blood because... um... he had the flu, and vampires are vulnerable to human diseases. Yeah, that's it!"), as long as you introduce the explanations early, well before they're needed for the plot. Bigger holes require plot changes, because explaining them away makes the story too contrived.
     
  6. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    Plot holes are the reason why I can't have nice things. They drive me mad.

    To cope with them, I usually hide all the nice things I have left and I try to fix them to the best of my ability without having to delete any major events. If they are major plot holes that I can't write my way around, I just burn everything, wipe away my tears, and start over again.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    That will make me feel special and stuff. :love:

    That makes me think of Hep D from True Blood; a strain of hepatitis particularly dangerous to vampires.

    I would have to disagree on the need to introduce explanations early BEFORE they're needed. I don't know if it's just the way that's worded or something, but that makes me think of it as that really annoying variety of foreshadowing where you think, "Why the hell am I being told this?" and then you later think, "Why couldn't they have just put that here?"

    Maybe it's easier to write it in earlier, but when you're editing, you're going to want to only do necessary things. If the part you're writing it into isn't where it'd be necessary, I wouldn't put it there. That's just my opinion though.
     
  8. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    A lot of times, I just patch up plot holes quickly. Most often, they are less holes and more just stuff that requires a bit more of side explanation. I try to avoid plot holes by checking facts when I need to. But usually I work hard to avoid plot holes and patch them up when I do.
     
  9. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    It depends on the size of the plothole. If it's one small thing that's not explained, i.e. "Why can't the character just do it this way and avoid all the hassle," it's not hard to go back and add in a reason of why the hard route must be taken.

    However, if you take a plotline way too far down the wrong road, and suddenly nothing is coherent anymore....time to re-write. This happened to me with the novel I completed in December. Luckily, it was a simple enough novel (children's horror/scifi, like "Goosebumps" and Bruce Coville arena) that it wasn't like I was rewriting 90K, more like 25K.

    However, DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT delete it. First, read your story and determine where the plot hole starts tearing things open. Copy-paste the first part (the non-holey portion) and copy-paste it in a new word doc. Don't cut it from the first one, just have it in two places. Name the new one "Story 2," "Revised Version" etc. Then, leave the holey one alone, open up the new one and rewrite the rest of the plot in a way that's not damaged.
     
  10. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Either I'm hypersensitive to plot holes (they are a pet peeve of mine when I spot them in books and movies), or maybe I write myself into corners a lot (probably both), but I seem to always have a bunch of plot holes. Most of them are so minor that no one would ever catch them, but I get one every once in a while that is are pretty big. Anyway, this is how I deal with it. First of all, I don't let them stop me from writing. I'll ponder on a solution for a while, but if I just spent 20 minutes and got nothing, I'll let them go and wait for a "Eureka" moment. I write them all down in a word doc and review it every once in a while. It might take me longer this way, but I feel like all my plot holes are eventually fixed. Sometimes I get these awesome "Eureka" moments where one change solves two or three plot holes all in one go. Oh man does that feel good.

    But definitely fix plot-holes. If a reader finds one, they will most likely be distracted and will snap out of that immersive hypnotism we want them all to go under. Edit: Mwahahaha!
     
  11. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    For minor plot holes, one should just patch them up with quick dialogue. On the other hand, huge plot holes should either actually be turned into plot devices, as Terminator did in the last scene of the movie, or filled in.
     
  12. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Plot holes can definitely be patched up. If you've written your owrk, it's not good to just throw it out without putting in the extra bit of effort to come up with a patch. Go for a walk if you're drawing a blank, but they're easier to patch up than it seems.
     
  13. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    First I would question why it became a plot hole? Was it something early on that you had considered as a potential subplot or something to the main plot but just decided to go a different direction?

    Was it something that just wasn't explained properly?

    If you can find why it became a plot hole and whether or not it's something that can be written out, then do that. Just edit it out.

    If it's something you want to build on then that's another way to deal with it.

    But if it can be written out and you don't need it, then do that.

    Make any sense? lol
     
  14. MrNomas
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    One of the things I try to stop my readers from saying is, "Why didn't they just..." When I read, plot holes and logical inconsistencies completely take me out of the story. I have whole novels in a "don't know how to fix this one" folder because I can't (yet) figure out how to make it work. I certainly would never intentionally put out something that had plot holes. I don't think that is fair to your reader or to the story and characters you're trying to craft.
     
  15. polarboy
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    I look at plot holes as a prompt to do more brainstorming. As the writer, I see it as my job to imagine, figure out, or piece together the missing information that would make the plot hole disappear--then place that material into the story. If I come up dry, then it's time to think more about the characters and their actions, do some more freewriting, and see if the story naturally moves in a different direction from the plot I previously had imagined.
     
  16. _Lulu_
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    Well, I had a lot of trouble as my MC will die at the end so my idea for what I wanted was a no-no so I cutout a character and changed the plot slightly.

    Then on my other one, after I came up with the plot, I decided on the original layout storyline from my first without even realising it.

    So, with the original idea I had, it has stemmed into two different stories :D it has worked to an advantage with me, I can do both things I wanted.

    Even when you do disregard an idea or a character/plot/scene etc, you might bring it back elsewhere subconsciously.
     
  17. IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer
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    This is how I handle it as well.

    And it's been known to result in more interesting material than I ever would have come up with if the plot hole hadn't appeared to begin with.
     

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