I seldom lose my cool when I see those glaring plot holes in books and movies. If the book has more than a few, I feel completely turned off and may even DNF the book. Many of us do that and it is not wrong to DNF.
Earlier this month we were discussing about some of those plot holes that would affect the story’s flow. These can be the inconsistencies in terms of
- The actual plot and story line
- The character development
- The world we built
I realized these inconsistencies are much more common than I realized and I decided to explore more on it. In order to make it easier to find and fill those damn holes, I will try and classify the holes in terms of plot and story line into groups.
1. Illogical and impossible scenes
I hate it when in the movies the actor gets shot in their chest with a gun, continues to fight the villain and deliver a fatal blow , yet a single bullet can explode moving cars every time. Don’t you?
For me the simple measure to group these illogical scenes in a plot is to ask myself if they make go ‘But how did he/she?’. More often than not, those questions are rhetorical because we know that couldn’t happen, unless there was a miracle. And if your story is about magic and miracle, please elaborate on how it happened. If not, that is a hole for you to fix.
Let us see some examples shall we?
- The highly frustrated curly girl in me, wants to mention about how easy the makeovers are – removing the glass and straightening the hair.
- Oh my favorite! How is there not even an adult whenever the young protagonist survives every damn disaster? My mom won’t even let me go to a sleepover without a chaperone when I was a wee teen, and these kids survive a zombie Apocalypse.
- Another one about the bullets. A single man (the protagonist) can shooting 20 men has more chance in destroying them than 20 of them shooting him. It always happens in the movies.
2. Contradictory scenes
Y’all how much I love reading Whodunnits and attempting (and failing) to solve it. But you know what irks me the most there? Plot holes!!
Why does the person who left town in the third chapter return in the final chapter? Please do not say he is the murderer, that is too convenient. Don’t we hate it when luck and coincidence solves them all? Okay maybe I am moving away from the topic. Do not let your events contradict.
Here are some more that would just make me pull the hair off my head.
- A person who is trapped in a dungeon appears from nowhere at the last moment to defuse the bomb. He WAS TRAPPED!
- You were beaten black and blue in a fight earlier, but without any more new reinforcements you win him the next day. What changed and how?
- How did you know land the bull’s eye if you never learnt archery? At the least tell me in advance that you were good at darts. Look out for those events that could not have happened because of something else that happened in the book and kick them off.
3. Unresolved conflicts:
I cannot emphasis too much on this one at all. I mean am sure no one would like to wait for eternity to know what those smaller characters did next in your story. Of course I hate cliffhangers, but I am not talking about them.
While love having
lots of a few just the right number of side plots and characters in a story but only when you intend to make them reach their destiny er.. I mean solution. Why else would you include about them, except perhaps to add some conflicts just for the heck of it?
I know some of these might sound a bit over the top but they do happen. As a beta reader I do point out such inconsistencies in the manuscript but it saves a lot of time and your efforts to fix them when you revise your manuscript before you send it to the beta reader or the editor.
Just remember, if it doesn’t make sense to you, your readers won’t understand it either.
What is the most blatant plot hole you have come across in a movie or a book? Do you find these gaps in the plot annoying or they completely obtrusive? Do share with me.