Okay, have any of you seen the Disney film, Moana?
Excellent, excellent movie. My god sister got me hooked on the music, which I totally did not intend to like and ended up loving.
Anyway, there is a scene in Moana where Moana is on the boat sailing out to sea, and she realizes her chicken is on board with her. And the chicken, because it is a chicken and chickens are stupid, keeps trying to walk off the boat into the ocean. So she sticks it into the cubbyhole with her food, and instead of jumping out, it walks around bumping into walls and is completely stuck.
Anyone remember that scene?
That’s exactly how it feels to be stuck in a plot hole.
Isn’t that frustrating? Plot holes, no matter how big or small, are a pain to deal with. Sometimes the biggest ones feel impossible to seal up, and we end up with trashed stories and derailed careers.
But, writer, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Every single plot hole, no matter how vast or how black or how terrible, is fixable.
Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? But, writer, your imagination is endless. There is no limit to what you can discover in your story and no limit to what you can conjure up.
Except the limits you place on yourself.
If you ever happen to come by my house and find me lying on my couch with my feet poking up in the air and my head hanging off the edge, don’t worry. I haven’t lost my mind. (Okay, I have a little bit.) I am simply getting a different perspective on life.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is take a look at the world upside down. Look at things a different way. Change something that you’ve always considered to be set in stone. Trash a character whose stubbornness is holding you back. You are the master of your story, and you are more than capable of handling the complexity of whatever problems it throws at you.
Four Tips To Apply It In Your Own Life
1. Nothing is set in stone. You are the author, and you are allowed to change whatever you like. If something doesn’t serve your book anymore, drop it. If you suddenly have the deep desire to throw mermaids into the mix, do it. Your story is your own, and the fear of messing things up will only drag you backward.
2. Sometimes the best thing you can do for a story is drop something that isn’t working any longer. I’m so serious about this one. So serious. If there is a character that is making a mess, kick him out. If a plot point creates more trouble than it’s worth, find another way to get what you want. As enchanting or engaging as some things are, they’re not always worth the trouble they cause.
3. Grab a pen and notebook, and go a little wild. Write down everything that could happen. Everything from death to maiming to spontaneous rebirth to rescue by mermaids. I’m serious. Be ridiculous. Don’t take hours on each idea. Give them a sentence each, throw them onto the paper, and let your brain have some fun. Eventually, I think, you’ll find a solution that fits your story and your style.
4. Be certain, absolutely, positively certain that whatever the trouble is, you can handle it. You’re a writer. This is what you do. Every plot hole has a solution, and you will find it. Sometimes, that assurance is the most important thing. Allowing doubt to creep in will only ever kill your creativity.
Good luck, dearest writer! May your tea be hot and your dreams wild.
Was this post helpful to you? Tell me about it in the comments, and drop in any tips of your own! I would love to hear about it.