A Wasteland of Plot Holes

April is the cruelest month. It was true for Eliot then, and true for me now. I’ve been stuck all month writing a Dr. Suess version of the Silmarillion to serve as a reference guide to the history of the world in my WIP. I’ve muddled along for a year and a half without having my world well formed in my mind which means it is not well formed in the book. *sigh*

Lately, with some assistance from my author coach, I’ve been going through scenes looking for plot holes. I’m asking myself, “self, why is that there? why do those people believe that? or, better, what do they believe? why is it a fence here and a wall there? why is that so important to your MC?” etc.

My conclusion today is that the lawn of my story has brown spots because I’ve been careless with the gophers. There’re too many holes in the lawn for the story to be healthy and green. Now, everytime I answer a question related to a plot hole, it’s like pulling a gopher trap out of a hole with a rigor’d body in the pincers. This is a relief; nasty, but a relief. I’ve been tossing seed on the lawn the last 18 mos and the brown spots were just increasing. I need to spend the time necessary to trap the gophers in my WIP, fill up the holes and then get back to seeding and fertilizing.

Oh, you might have guessed, I did yard work today. 🙂

  1. Having written and published two novels myself, I know about chasing gophers and plugging the holes. I also teach writing to high school kids. You have no idea how many light years you are ahead of the average writer due to the fact you have perceived that gophers exist.

  2. This might be somewhere in your posts, but while you’re writing are you reading like crazy as well, or fully trudging through the writing?

    • I’m reading like crazy too. Reading helps me identify weaknesses in my own work.

      • It helps me get the work done as well. I also just picked up a book “Revision and Self-Editing for Publication” by James Scott Bell and I was reading it (For obvious reasons), but it had such unexpected impact on some revisions I’m currently doing. You never know where the lightbulb is going to spring from. 🙂

        • tyroper said:

          Yeah, Bell and Donald Maass are my two favorite writers of books for writers.

  3. Great metaphor, but then again I lost the battle with gophers years ago. How bout Astroturf?

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