Ways to Spot Plot Holes in Your Story and Fix Them
Have you ever found yourself halfway through an amazing novel, only to come upon a silly plot hole that ruins the story? As much as you may dislike them, plot holes are an inevitable part of most stories. It can get even more frustrating if you are a writer. When you get lost in the writing process, you tend to make mistakes that can affect the plot. Some of these mistakes can go on to defeat the purpose of the entire novel. Seeking help from a professional novel editing service can be very helpful here. At Edit911, our professional editors offer several tips to new and experienced writers on how to identify and fix plot holes. Let’s look at some of the easiest ways to detect plot holes in your novel.
Scrutinize the Draft
Let’s start with the basics. The first thing you need to do to find plot holes in your story is to proofread the draft from scratch. As you read, make sure to look at things from a reader’s viewpoint and not a writer’s.
As you go through your draft, note down all the points you think are plot holes. There will be some parts that you don’t want to remove, which add inconsistencies to your storyline. It’s important that you put your emotions aside here and mark them for further review.
You can also ask yourself the following questions after you are done reading the draft:
- Does the draft make sense? How can it be improved?
- Is the story jumping from one incident to the next, or is there a proper flow?
- Are there any loopholes that need to be eliminated?
- Are there any aspects that contradict one another? For example, suppose your protagonist is shown to trust their friend in the first chapter of the book. However, they end up hiding things from them in the very next chapter for no reason whatsoever. It’s important to justify such contradictions to avoid a plot hole.
- Does the story answer every question that may arise within the readers’ heads?
- Do the words and actions of the characters add to the story, or are they just there for the sake of it?
Check For World-Building and Character Consistency
While checking for plot holes, make sure you check for world-building elements and character consistency. These two factors maintain the feel of the novel and also add uniformity to your content. You can start by checking the locations visited by the character throughout the book and see if there any inconsistencies.
Also, if your story contains elements like political hierarchies and power structures, then make sure these are described clearly.
Similarly, your content shouldn’t skimp on religions, dress codes, food, and other aspects of the story that impact the characters. As far as the characters are concerned, their names, ages, physical appearances should be discussed. Furthermore, there must be some back story that affects the plot or the overall arcs of your characters.
Come Up with Alternatives
Once you have identified a plot hole in the story, you should try to remove it with something more plausible and in line with the rest of your story. Completely eliminating a part can be disruptive. We suggest coming up with at least three alternatives or solutions that can help you resolve the plot hole you have identified. Try using each of these and see which one works best.
Have the Ending in Mind
Do you know why the Harry Potter series is so flawlessly written? Apart from Rowling’s talent as an author, the main story in the series also flows perfectly because Rowling already had the ending in mind when she started writing it. Rowling was able to work backward from this point and create a cohesive story.
You can use a similar technique to try and fix your plot holes. All you need to do is have your story’s ending mapped out in your mind. This approach makes it easier to build a consistent story. You can create specific incidents and characters that lead up to this point and offer a satisfactory conclusion.
Do Not Overcomplicate Things
Finally, try to simplify things while fixing your plot holes. It’s natural to want to create a complex story. However, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to overcomplicate things to create something good. If you are having difficulty fixing your plot holes, you might as well fix the plot altogether.
As we have discussed, a few plot holes are inevitable in every story. If you are having difficulty finding plot holes and fixing them, then you can ask for help from a professional novel editing service such as edit911. We provide fiction editing and proofreading services at the best prices possible. We also specialize in helping you write concrete and immaculate plots for novels. Contact us today to avail yourself of our services.