Creating a fictional setting, developed plot, and curious characters your readers will follow with a spark in their eyes sounds like a dream come true for most writers. Reaching this goal, however, takes time and skill, and the road to completing a well-written novel is full of rises and pitfalls.
Plot holes are certainly something you’ll want to avoid in the process. No one likes to face a dead-end street. Inconsistencies and illogical turns of events in your narrative can spoil the experience for your readers, and even turn some of them away for good.
Avoiding plot holes before they happen
Prevention is key for a lot of issues in life, and writing mishaps happen to be no exception. How should you approach the writing process if you want to avoid ending up with a plot full of conflicting or insufficient information?
- Plan the plot outline ahead.This may sound like a difficult task for the authors whose writing method consists more of going with the flow than planning ahead. However, you don’t have to plan the entire story ahead – just the main plot points. In most cases, the better you establish your story beforehand, the more likely you are to spot plot holes early.
- Step away to let the manuscript “breathe.” Editing your own writing is difficult, and it becomes quite challenging after spending a lot of time close to it. Step aside from time to time and let your mind detach from everything you already know. This will give you a chance to look at your work with new eyes once you get back to it.
- Be mindful of character development.“Static” characters who seem to go on with their lives completely unaffected by their personal experiences and events are never convincing. On the other hand, no person can change for no reason either – change has to be a grounded and an understandable transformation.
- Pay close attention to subplots.The more subplots you have, the higher the chance you’ll forget to give one a proper closure. Keep a detailed record of every story you wish to pursue.
- Look for a fresh perspective. According to the advice given by the best essay writing service on Reddit, a new pair of eyes can make a world of difference when looking into inconsistencies and errors in your stories. A person who knows nothing of the story (yet,) and is in no way personally attached to the writing process, can often notice flaws and gaps a dedicated writer could easily miss in the editing process.
The subtle art of filling in the plot holes
Realizing that your plot is flawed is never a pleasant experience. However, what’s done is done, and you shouldn’t grieve much about it. Although it’s more challenging to “patch” a story with inconsistencies than to avoid them altogether, here is what you can do to rehabilitate the plot and fill in the holes that do it no justice.
- Provide explanations when necessary. If a plot hole occurred because you missed to provide all the information the reader needs to understand why something happened, it can be amended (relatively) easily. Return to the story part that requires touch-ups, and add the explanations needed to make the story work.
- Rewrite the disputable passages to straighten the plot out. If you’ve noticed inconsistencies in the way you planned certain happenings, you will, alas, have to plan them again, and rewrite the story to make sense for the reader.
- Ditch a dead-end subplot.There are some things you simply can’t fix. UKwritings review experts suggest that a dead-end subplot that isn’t relevant or well-founded can do your story more harm than good. Although you might feel reluctant to let go of a portion of work you spent so much time and energy on, sometimes it’s the best thing you can do for the greater good of your story.
Preventing plot holes from occurring in your stories and addressing the matter once you’ve noticed them is hard work. It requires immense patience and a well-trained eye for detail, as well as being able to review your own writing objectively and critically. The latter is an especially challenging task, but the whole process is well worth the fight, both for yourself as a creative author and for your audience.
Focusing on your story along the way can save you a lot of time, as that way you can fix plot inconsistencies as they happen. However, if something slips through the cracks, don’t despair. Take as many steps back as you need, give it some thought, and revise the story accordingly.
Your story will be a lot better for it, and your readers will be able to enjoy your book the way you always intended them to.
Jack White is a professional writer, journalist and freelancer with more than five years of experience in industry. He started writing articles to help people recognize their own potential and learn something new and useful. His main goal is to create searchable and shareable lifestyle content that will inspire every person who reads it.