Friday, November 9, 2012

Revision Workshop Day 9

Let's jump into Plot holes, how to find them and how to fix them.
I am using this technique right now on my revisions and edits, and I can say it works!

You can use this if you are finished writing already and you're going through edits for the first of second time.

And you can use this method if you have just started writing, say at 10,000 to 20,000 words. (about right for NaNo writers this week!)

If you are still writing, this is NOT the time to stop and go through for edits! Keep writing. The easiest way to track plot holes is to make notes and fix later. If you are using something like Word Document or another program with with a search feature, here's an awesome tip.

Use a unique *symbol* to mark where you know you'll need to edit.


Jerri knew she would be late so she phoned ahead to tell them. She was always late, but then again, her friends were used to it. There was no way she was going to change just for Luke. He didn't deserve her help, anyway.#

I added the little # sign because after I read that in my editing process I realized I changed thoughts in the middle of the paragraph and it didn't make sense. Now, when I revise, I can go to my search feature and type in the # symbol. Word Document will highlight all the # symbols I can see immediately where I need to revise.

Another tip: I also use certain symbols for certain edits. # for plot needs. @ for character needs. $ for grammatical errors.

Now, onward!

Here's an easy checklist when searching for plot holes.

Does everything in my summary make sense?
Are all my characters needed? Any character that doesn't have a purpose or goal?
Does any character act of their normal personality? Do they behave the way they are expected?
Is the world building consistent and made believable? Did I explain anything that isn't normal?
Is the conflict believable and introduced naturally?
IS the setting and props used creatively and believably?

You may notice I used the word BELIEVABLE a lot. If your world is a fantasy or sci-fi world, of course you'll have a ton of unbelievable stuff going on. But you need to make it clear to the reader audience that in the book wold, it is real. You do this by explaining things and staying consistent.

For instance, if you have a faery that uses magic and no other faery can, did you explain why? Did you have two best friends in college decide to runaway to Europe on a Tuesday? Did you explain why they chose Tuesday? Di=es the reader understand their motivation and purpose?

More checklist questions:
Are all your characters well developed and introduced properly?
Do you readers know the main conflict of the story?
Do they know what motivates each character?
Do you characters act like themselves? Why or why not?
Do you have good turning points? How did you characters react to these points?

As I already mentioned, if you are in the writing process, don't stop to edit now. Keep writing so you can stay on schedule. Make note of any plot holes and then get back to the business of writing!

Any questions? Comments? Let me know!


  1. Good checklist and ideas. Thanks.

  2. I love this! I was just running into the problem with My character Leva. She is *awesome* but she wasn't doing much, just standing there looking pretty. I was forcing Stephanie to do everything, and it just wasn't working. Stephanie can't seek Leva's advice if she doesn't need it. Now that Stephanie has to ask for help, she's forced to realize she's not superwoman and it's okay to ask help. A very good lesson she'll need towards the end

  3. This is great! As a pantser I just chug right through my WIP's so leaving a symbol for later is a great idea. I love the questions too, they are perfect to think about during revising/editing!

  4. Thanks for this. This is very useful indeed. This will be used as a checklist for draft 2 and 3 when Im done with first one. (which I almost am)