I’m revising my manuscript soon and one of the things I’ll be looking for is plot holes. Does your plot have missing or broken parts?
I know I have missing parts and jumps in action before I even go through it. I had the entire manuscript critiqued through a group at Scribophile and there were times critique partners would point out areas where I jumped from one idea to another without providing a bridge.
When you are writing, you know what’s happening and you may not question why Suzie is talking to Jeff about needing a job in one paragraph and working for him in the next. I’m not saying you need every little step in order for your reader to follow what’s going on. I’m sure most people don’t want to know she woke up, took a shower, put on her favorite dress, ate some Cheerios and brushed her teeth with Crest toothpaste before walking out the door to go to work, but if Jeff gave her a job, I think that’s pretty darn important. This is a missing plot piece.
Your readers will do a double take and have to try to resolve the inconsistency for themselves without the knowledge of how the scene was suppose to go. All it will take is a few of these before your readers are calling you names and tossing your work to the side.
When you read through your manuscript, look for areas where something important has happened and your reader didn’t see it. Try to put yourself in their shoes and see the story through their eyes. They don’t have access to your brain and thoughts, so they can’t fill in the missing holes.
I talked about plot holes in this blog but there are also broken plots, which can be quite amusing. I plan to address them in my Thursday blog.