Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Plot holes and a simple suggestion

These are my sweat pants. They're falling apart. (I folded one leg over so you could see the back, too.)

I didn't realize how full of holes my pants were until I was getting ready to fold them recently, and saw them lying on the bed. 

Whoa, I thought. Those are practically goners. 

It made me sad.

It also reminded me of my current WIP. With OTH releasing on Monday, I've been working on Flora stuff for months now. With the Flora things being officially out of my hands for a while (whew), I've been able to go back to Cozenage 2. 

It's like seeing the storyline for the very first time. Tons of issues are jumping out at me, demanding my attention. I love it.

A lot of times, we writers spend so much time getting comfortable with our works-in-progress, it's easy to get to a point where plot/character holes are completely missed. The stories or specific aspects of them might be falling apart at the seams, but because we've been buried so deep in everything and know how the WIP is *supposed* to be, we don't even see this.

There are varying pieces of advice on how to fix this (CPs, betas, et cetera), but I've personally come to learn that taking a few months (yes, months--not weeks) away from a project that might *feel* like it's done is really the best. I know that seems like a long time when you're chomping at the bit to get it finished and move on to another project, but believe me, it's worth it. You'll be looking at your work with a pair of fresh eyes and only will plot holes stand out, but it'll also be easier to come up with solutions when you're not burnt out on the storyline.

I like what Neil Gaiman says:

The best advice I can give on this is, once it's done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. Finish the short story, print it out, then put it in a drawer and write other things. When you're ready, pick it up and read it, as if you've never read it before. If there are things you aren't satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that's revision.

How about you? Do you agree with this? If so, how long do you step away from WIP (or finished draft) before diving back in again? 


  1. Good luck with Open Thy Heart! And thanks for the reminder to keep some perspective on our WIPs.


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