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The PHDA is open to new members - lyndawrites - 06 Oct 2014 01:57 PM

Very reluctantly, Katie Stewart and I have become founder members of the PHDA - The Plot Hole Diggers Association.

You know what we are talking about it, I'm sure. It's when:
1 The character (who holds the vital clue to the murder)  that your sleuth is interviewing in Chapter 8 is one you killed off in Chapter 2.
2 Your heroine's boyfriend is on an Antarctic expedition in the morning. and kissing her passionately in London only 4 hours later.
3 The hale and hearty hero's best mate who offers (20K words in) to thrash him at tennis, is the same pale and pallid guy you tearfully left  at Death's door at the end of the first scene - and you've forgotten the miracle cure.

So, if you've ever toiled three-quarters of the way into your WIP and discovered a plot hole so big you could drive a bus through it, why not join us? Do feel free to post your own plot nightmare - there are no prizes except sympathy - and we could all do with a good laugh. Big Grin


RE: The PHDA is open to new members - skate - 06 Oct 2014 02:50 PM

My problem is not so much a plot hole as a character chasm. My main character has developed into such a good person that even I'm getting bored with him. I'm going to have to go back and make him swear a few times or something to make him more likeable...er, less likeable...er...what do I mean?


RE: The PHDA is open to new members - Kath Middleton - 06 Oct 2014 02:52 PM

The trouble with characters is that they change and develop. Like real people, actually. Erm...


RE: The PHDA is open to new members - Tim_A - 06 Oct 2014 03:15 PM

The bad guy from book 2 twigged what the good guy from book 3 was up to and had him rather efficiently done away with in chapter 4.

Alas, a competent villain!


RE: The PHDA is open to new members - alexroddie - 06 Oct 2014 05:31 PM

Ah — I'm good at this Smile I have a magical OmniOutliner template that finds them for me (either in my own books or in those of my clients!)

I think my favourite example from my early years as a budding novelist was the main character in The Riven Path who went on an epic quest to unearth a secret conspiracy in a fantasy world. However, considering the fact that his father had cut him off without a penny and he had no private source of income I really cannot think how he didn't starve to death, let alone fund a 2000-mile quest across two continents...

The excuse I used at the time was "this kind of thing always happens in fantasy novels," but it isn't good enough!


RE: The PHDA is open to new members - davidwailing - 06 Oct 2014 05:38 PM

I love this. I think you'll be hard-pressed to find an author who isn't a de facto member of the PHDA!

I'm sure I've plumetted into a plot hole more than once but can't think of specifics right now. I suspect I've deliberately erased my memories of them out of shame. I'll flick through some notes and get back to you!


RE: The PHDA is open to new members - Tim_A - 06 Oct 2014 06:37 PM

(06 Oct 2014 05:31 PM)alexroddie Wrote: Wrote:  However, considering the fact that his father had cut him off without a penny and he had no private source of income I really cannot think how he didn't starve to death, let alone fund a 2000-mile quest across two continents...

The excuse I used at the time was "this kind of thing always happens in fantasy novels," but it isn't good enough!
I may need to try that on my bank manager...


RE: The PHDA is open to new members - Santos - 06 Oct 2014 07:17 PM

On the first draft of my book i had so many plot holes i lost count. That's what i get for only being able to write for an hour or two a day before collapsing of exhaustion from a hard day’s graft Smile
My personal favourite (of a very long list) was having a spaceship ‘Bursting’ (my word of choice for warping/jumping) out of a region of space that the story had clearly explained, in no uncertain terms, that did not allow for faster than light travel.

It did teach me an important lesson though, now when i write i keep a separate document to keep track of important details as i go, so that i can quickly reference stuff like chronology, character attributes, background details and the like.


RE: The PHDA is open to new members - Anna Faversham - 06 Oct 2014 09:44 PM

Good thread!

My problem is I can never decide whether to do as Santos does and keep running notes or let the fingers carry on tapping while the story flows. But I know only too well that without those time-consuming notes, plot holes will be gaping all over the place. I dread plot holes.

If only the councils attended to their pot holes as conscientiously as we authors manage our plot holes.


RE: The PHDA is open to new members - cecilia_writer - 07 Oct 2014 06:22 AM

Good thread - I am definitely eligible for the PHDA. I found a classic plot hole while editing my latest mystery. A policeman I had sent away on a cruise in one chapter to get him out of the way for the whole rest of the book was suddenly back in town in the next chapter, much to my surprise. Not to mention the dog with three names and a couple of characters who turned up at the beginning and were never seen again...