Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A Little About Plot Holes

On a white-water rafting trip down the Snake and Salmon Rivers in two-person boats, our guide told us how to paddle past sucking whirlpools. And then we set off. Our little boat skirted past a deep whirlpool. I couldn't see bottom, just the great green current circling. At speed. I knew we were too close. Our guide had said if we spilled here, we wouldn't come up until spring. If then. 

That's kind of how I feel about plot holes. They seem nearly invisible, just a ripple, until you're nearly upon them. 

Today marks my third session reading for deep revision. I'm happy to be taking notes and marking up the draft. Each reading brings me closer to the story -- and I'm beginning to spot those gaps in the story that may lead to new scenes or new understandings about this story. 

But something's starting to percolate along with those underlines of different colors and penciled notes. I'm starting to see those missing transitions and to get ideas for new scenes that would fill in those plot holes. I see glimmers . . . possibilities . . . and missing interactions. 

TIP FOR TODAY: Grab those sticky notes. Use one color to jot down ideas for missing scenes. Don't feel married to any ideas just yet. Just jot down the notes and move on. 

In this round of revision, my purpose is to 'see' the story. A sticky note will help me separate ideas for plot holes from the rest of the revisions I'm working with. And yes, I do expect another round of drafting and writing and revising.

In the words of Kait Nolan, facilitator for A Round of Words in 80 Days, keep in mind, "There is no one true way." Persevere. 

And tune in tomorrow for another report on this month-long meditation on revision.


  1. That was very interesting Beth! I really liked the part about the sticky notes for missing scenes. I'm a visual person so I know this tip will help me out a lot, especially with my business planning. Thanks Beth!

  2. Thank you, Kristen. So far it's working for me too to catch ideas I'll integrate later. Business plans? Sounds suspiciously like a marketing plan. I'm going to visit your blog. All the best!