Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Plot hole = evil

I've been project juggling lately. That's unusual for me because I usually start an idea and stick with it till it's finished. But not now. A month or so ago, I started Dark YA and got 5k in before chatting with People and deciding to drop it. For now.

Then, I shifted over to Secret Sparkly Tween Book (thinking of it as one of three) and have wiped out the 10 page outline five times. Five. Of course, that then makes the outlines for Two and Three useless.

Grrr. *headdesk*

I have all of the plot lines for One, Two and Three, but One is missing something pretty big. What? The reason WHY my characters do what they do that kicks off One, Two and Three. Very vague, I know. Been pondering this for weeks and have no answer.



Mitch said...
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Mitch said...

Plot holes are definitely tough. On my current supernatural YA novel, I've just now connected everything in a cohesive manner, and this is after a disgustingly rough draft, a complete rewrite and now another almost complete rewrite. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent turning things over in my head, how many pages of notebook paper that have been honorably sacrificed to the forest gods so that the story could straighten out and make sense.

But I do have a question for you: Seeing as how fast you're churning out these Canterwood Crest books, how often do you come across snags like this? And when you do, do you talk it over with your agent, or do you just storm ahead and hope it all turns out okay? Even further, do you ever turn stuff in to find that your editor has decided that major chunks of the story aren't working?

Just some wonderings from a fellow writer! But hang in there with those plot holes. Don't force it - Let the answers come bubbling to the surface.

Sherrie Petersen said...

I was just talking about this with my writing group last night. I have a story with a great beginning and a great end but I wasn't happy with the middle. I threw out my bad ideas and they gave me so good ones. They know the characters from the first four chapters so they helped me figure out how they should move forward. Writing may be a solitary business, but it sure helps to have feedback sometimes!

Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

Hey Mitch,

Oh, yeah, pages definitely must be scarified for the good of the story. :)

This book isn't under contract, though, so I'm free to play with it as much as I want in my free time.

But for Canterwood, I have yet to hit a snag like this. I outline heavily (up to 30 pages for a chapter by chapter outlines), so I just don't start writing and then realize I have a plot hole. If I get stuck at any point, I always call my editor. She's the best for working through any questions or issues I might have.

And nope, I've never turned in anything and had her decide big things aren't working. She sees the outline first, so we're in agreement before I start writing.


I hear you, Sherrie. Feedback is definitely helpful.

Mitch said...

That's interesting that you outline so thoroughly. I wrote the first draft of my book with no outline at all, but I did take lots of notes as I went, keeping track of what was working and what wasn't, or where I thought I might go next. But on the whole it was all "by the seat of my pants".

However, two drafts later, I did sit down and put together a complete outline of the revised story. That helped a lot in terms of tying everything together, but I don't know if I would have come up with the same tale had I outlined from the very beginning.

To each their own!

Mitch said...

Oh, by the way, I'm reading a really good horse book right now: The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle. Have you heard of it? If you haven't, I highly recommend you check it out! Seems like it'd be your kind of story.

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