It’s the first Wednesday of the new year and you know what that means: another installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
So…my husband and I are rehabbing a house. When I first saw the inside of the house, I thought to myself, “My Lord. We have our work cut out for us!” Lemme splain’ you something: if any of you kind folks saw the condition this house was in before we bought it, you would promptly call the head doctor and get yours truly the nearest appointment. Someone cut all the wires out of the house. Stole the toilet out of the hall bathroom (let’s stop here for a second and imagine someone running down the street with a toilet hoisted over their shoulder). And guess what else? We had to take out all the floors because of termite damage. And I won’t even tell you about that horrendous turquoise, cast iron sink in the master bathroom. The good news? After we’re done fixing the house it’ll be worth more than double what we paid for it (and the house won’t look like something that landed on the lot haphazardly after a tornado).
Why am I telling you all this? Well, aside from the fact that because of this house, I can now say that I actually painted something for the first time in my entire life (woo-hoo!), the house reminds me of my WIP. Because just like this house, my novel is a mess. It has loads of potential, but as of right now, it ain’t much to look at. My biggest issue? Plot holes.
A plot hole, or plothole is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that creates a paradox in the story that cannot be reconciled with any explanation. These include such things as illogical or impossible events, and statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.
Slap me, Sally. I have so much work to do on this story it’s not even funny. I think the house might be easier to fix than this mess of a novel! “Statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline?” Gulp. This is the novel’s biggest problem. And it stems from this: there’s a particular incident in the story (a huge incident) that I haven’t ironed out. I kinda sorta know what happened, but the details are fuzzy. So because of that, plotholes are a-boomin’.
So how am I going to fix it? Well, I’m going to have to make a definitive decision about what happened the night of the fire (doesn’t that sound intriguing???). I’ll need to decide what role each character played that night and how their actions affected the main character. And after I know this, I can start patching up those plot holes.
Moral here? You can’t write a believable story if the details are fuzzy in your head. Iron out the kinks in the plot. Go through the novel with a fine-tooth comb and make sure all the threads connect. And if you don’t? Well, your story will probably be as ugly as that turquoise sink in our bathroom. Don’t do that to your readers. They deserve better!
What about others? How do you deal with plot holes? Any home rehab horror stories? I’d love to hear your thoughts!