Recently, I reviewed my plot–only to discover I’ve got a few plot holes. Er. Maybe more than a few.
I panicked. I went into problem solving mode. I tried to outline. I tried to explain every thing in a rational manner–which is a good way to make an outlandish plot seem even more outlandish (well, you see…ahem…it starts with this ‘mysterious message’…).
I tried to revise old scenes so later ones made better sense. I put in a few explanatory paragraphs, even though they disrupted the flow. I thought about adding explanatory footnotes…but no, that would be taking it too far!
Finally, I had to lie down in a dark room with a cold cloth on my head and tell myself: STOP FREAKING OUT!
This is a first draft. I just need to get it out and get it down. I can smooth out the details later, I told myself. Just finish the dang thing!
I’ve been working on this novel for 10 years. I need to finish it! I need to point myself in direction of the Finish Line and just go, go, go. I can’t let a few plot holes stop me from getting a completed story on paper…it might be a flawed story, but at least it will be FINISHED!
So, sorry, no time to stop and panic. I’m just going to tape up the small holes, leap over the large ones and try not to twist my ankle when I land–and dash away–onward–to THE END!
PS. How do YOU deal with plot holes? Ignore until the end, like me? Or do you fix as you go? Or some other approach? *curious*!
Write the story. Forget the spelling, grammar, and plot-holes, and write the story until you’re finished.
Next, print out your book. Then sit down with a notebook and pen and your manuscript. Read it. Every time you find a loose end or a potential plot-hole, make a note in your notebook, along with page number. Mark the area on the manuscript with a big colored checkmark or star.
When you have completely gone through your ms. doing this, then go back and begin patching.
When you’ve patched it all, read for content, make sure it all makes sense. Have someone else read it, too, looking for loose ends and inconsistencies.
When you’ve finished, put aside the book for a month or so, and try not to think about it. Best thing to do is work on something else. When you come back to your manuscript, do a polish on it. You may have to polish it 2-3 times before you’re finished. Let someone else read it for typos.
When you’re satisfied that it is patched, cleaned and polished, send it out. And do NOT dwell on it, or you’ll drive yourself and loved ones out of their minds. WORK ON SOMETHING ELSE.
I almost always follow this pattern, and it works well for me.
Good luck. I have my fingers crossed for you.
Thank you for your suggestions! I love everyone of them and they all make sense to me!
I especially like: write until you’re finished the dang thing without worrying about the plot holes etc.! Yes, that is what I am going to do!
Thank you so much for dropping by,
I’m in your boat, and my solution is to keep moving forward. I haven’t looked back at all, and I know I can fix anything in revision. Don’t worry, move forward and in the end, you won’t need duct tape…just time for revisions! Good luck
It’s funny the head trips writers can give them selves…I want it to be perfect the 1st time over, no revisions! Ha! But I think I’ll go insane that way…so forward and onward without looking back it is!