Friday, October 5, 2012

When shooting a gun just isn't enough

Plot holes. I hate 'em.

It's my own fault. I try to make things too complicated sometimes.

Okay, more than sometimes.

Last night, just as I was getting into the meat of a scene, I got stopped dead in my tracks by a question I hadn't asked myself yet about the plot. Well, not so much the question, but the answer to that question. Because that answer made much of what I was planning seem completely and utterly ridiculous. It unhinged the logic I needed to make it believable.

And if the reader doesn't believe what you're doing, you're pretty much sunk.

When my ex-writing partner and I would be plotting, she very often said something along the lines of, "Why doesn't he just shoot him?" Meaning, why was I suggesting a convoluted route to solving a problem rather than the more direct method. It's like the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy is facing off with the sword-wielding ninja-like guy. It looks impossible to beat, until Indy pulls his gun out and shoots him.

Simple. Direct. Straight to the point.

Not my forte.

I'm actually a big fan of simple and direct when it's used effectively. But I like to think that people and situations are more complex than that. I hate the obvious. Add it all together and you get...

...a big hole in the internal logic of my current WIP.

So I took a break from it for the rest of the night to let my brain stew over how I could fix it. I'm halfway through the story, and the thought of going back to try and rework everything was almost enough to give me a panic attack. There had to be something I was missing, a different path I could from the step I was currently in the midst of.

I think I found it. I think. And I'll be at it again today with the new ideas in place.

I can guarantee, however, that I'll be advancing more carefully for the next 10k or so. I need to be sure that I've sufficiently covered the hole. I don't want to fall into another one.