With everyone buzzing around Plot Hole articles (Parts I and II) it was pointed out that I missed a comment from Secretly_Samus, author of Shannon on Writing and Rewriting, on Part I. Secretly_Samus writes:
“This [Plot Holes Part I] makes me…ponder the question, how do you know when you have a plot hole?”
I apologise for the delay, but to help everyone who wonders if they have a plot hole, “The Pesky Plot Hole Questionnaire” can be a lot of help.
So don’t stress yourself too much over it, but if you’re worried about possibly having a plot hole on your hands, try asking yourself some of these questions (both from the original questionnaire on Freelance and Fiction and some I’ve added myself):
- Do your characters overlook obvious solutions to their problems? (e.g. the heroine forgets to use her incredible knowledge of karate when she’s attacked.)
- Do your villains conveniently overlook or pooh-pooh the one flaw that could let the hero escape?
- Does the cavalry arrive more quickly than is physically possible? (Your character took three days to cross the mountains. She gets thrown in jail. Her sidekick, who didn’t start the journey until learning of her predicament, is there springing her out the next day.)
- Are people a little too willing to help the heroes? (Or a little too unwilling?)
- Do you tell reader that the hero’s plan was brilliant but refuse to actually reveal how he/she pulled it off? (Skipping past the daring action can be a huge cop-out.)
- Do your heroes recover from physical trauma much too quickly? (Recovery times may vary greatly due to fantasy potions and sci-fi gadgets, but those elements need to be set up well in advance.)
- Do your heroes recover from emotional trauma too quickly? (We want to empathize with the protagonists, and that can be hard when we’re still grieving over a killed-off character and the hero is running around like nothing happened.)
- Does the hero/heroine go ALONE to the one place where the villain will surely find him/her?
- Does a problem arise out of nowhere just to spur the plot along?
- Have you broken the rules of your universe to get out of a dead-end/move the plot along? (Ok, so people in your fantasy novel can fly, but not higher than 300 ft….except your Main Character when they need to…)
If anyone can think of others, please feel free to comment below/message me to add them.