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Ryan Dave Jimenez

How To Write Stories #4: Fixing Plot Holes

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In fiction, a plot hole, plothole or plot error is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot. Such inconsistencies include such things as illogical or impossible events,[2] and statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.

- Wikipedia

 

I tend to see plot holes as questions asked by the audience that has no answers. I'm sure you can recall watching something then thinking, "But why did the hero do that? When he could just...." And so on. A good story will usually have the answer before you can even ask the question.

Plot holes happen because an author did not bulletproof their story. And one simple, quick way to check for plot holes is to ask the question, why?

 

So here is our Beginning Beginning: (taken from previous topic)

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Takeji is a nerdy highschool boy. He’s quite tall and gets bullied for it constantly. This makes him want to quit school.

We start by reading the first sentence. Takeji is a nerdy highschool boy. Then we ask, why? Why is Takeji a nerdy highschool boy?

Currently our story doesn't give us the answer. So we found a plot hole. And to cover the plot hole, we have to answer the question.

Takeji is a nerdy highschool boy because he's tall but skinny. And he is an otaku. A hardcore one at that.
 
So now it will read as, Takeji is a nerdy highschool boy. He's tall but skinny and is a hardcore otaku.

 

On to the next sentence: He's quite tall and gets bullied for it constantly. Why does he get bullied for being tall?

It doesn't really make sense to bully someone bigger than you. So I guess it's more plausible that Takeji is being bullied for something else.

We will revise it as, Even with his height he still gets bullied. Mainly, for being a pushover. He lets people step all over him.

 

Putting it all together:

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Takeji is a nerdy highschool boy. He's tall but skinny and is a hardcore otaku. Even with his height he still gets bullied. Mainly, for being a pushover. He lets people step all over him.

We've managed to cover up any plot holes in those 2 sentences. Things are also more logical and makes better sense to the reader. This might be a time-consuming process but it's definitely worth it in the end.

So how do you find and fix plot holes? Feel free to share your own tips below.

Edited by Ryan Dave Jimenez
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