Hi, my name is Regan and I’m stuck in a plot hole.

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
User avatar
dios4vida
Posts: 1119
Joined: February 22nd, 2010, 4:08 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA
Contact:

Re: Hi, my name is Regan and I’m stuck in a plot hole.

Post by dios4vida » September 13th, 2010, 3:13 pm

Regan Leigh wrote:There is a group of people in my book -- the main characters that the plot revolves around -- who are "special". ;) Not in a vampire way. :D I won't go into details, but they do have certain enhanced abilities. One of my issues? WHY do they have those abilities? I know everything about the plot and characters, but when it comes to explaining why they even exist in the way that they do? Why their world is a certain way? Yeah, I'm empty. :D (And btw, it has a tiny bit of fantasy/paranormal, but it's mostly set in reality. Not some created world. Think more magic realism kind of feel.)
There are the usual suspects that could be responsible for this - aliens, Old Ones, radiation, government experiment, etc.

Personally, I'm a fan of the mutation theory because I do have a genetic mutation, so naturally I like to consider myself more of an X-Men than an invalid freak. :-P

Usually, though, the simplest answer is the best. What's the most natural (or unnatural) explanation for these abilities? Maybe it's an evolution, natural selection kind of thing? Or a special gift given to save the world? I would look for more simple answers before going for some complex explanation, because it'll make more sense to your readers and give them a moment of "geez, maybe that really COULD happen!" (And since it's magical realism, that would be the best reaction you could get!)

Good luck, Regan, I know you'll think of something!! And if you can't, then go wash some dishes. ;)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

User avatar
Regan Leigh
Posts: 207
Joined: January 15th, 2010, 4:24 am
Contact:

Re: Hi, my name is Regan and I’m stuck in a plot hole.

Post by Regan Leigh » September 13th, 2010, 10:33 pm

Thank you for the comment and support, dios4vida. :) And I think I'll do a long walk around the neighborhood instead. I hate dishes. It puts me in a foul mood. :D
Image

JadePhoenix
Posts: 71
Joined: May 12th, 2010, 1:26 pm
Contact:

Re: Hi, my name is Regan and I’m stuck in a plot hole.

Post by JadePhoenix » September 13th, 2010, 11:37 pm

Why not just have them as a subset of humanity (and I mean subset as in a small group, not as in inferior in some way)? History is full of legends and myths concerning special people - psychics, magicians, shapechangers, those with superpowers of some kind, vampires, werewolves and so on and so on. Those myths concern these people. They're their own culture or ethnicity - you have Chinese, African, Irish, and this group. Your world doesn't have to be OUR world and it doesn't have to be radically different either. It can be our world wherein exist an extra cultue/ethnicity known as the "XX" (whoever) and they have these special abilities.

If you want to take it further you can then decide WHY that group has those abilities. For example, they come from somewhere really dark all the time, the sun doesn't shine a lot there so they've developed the ability to see in the dark. It's microevolution (macroevolution is a cow turning into a bird or whatever, micro is a white moth turning brown because ash has covered the white trees and it needs to be a dark color now to blend in). See? So it's a simple explanation - they're their own culture/ethnicity and they live in a climate that requires these special abilities, abilities that look enhanced to the rest of the world that didn't need them and therefore never developed them.

Anyway, just a thought, maybe it'll help spark you off in your own direction or something. :)

xouba
Posts: 49
Joined: May 11th, 2010, 3:27 am
Contact:

Re: Hi, my name is Regan and I’m stuck in a plot hole.

Post by xouba » September 14th, 2010, 1:39 pm

Regan Leigh wrote:There is a group of people in my book -- the main characters that the plot revolves around -- who are "special". ;) Not in a vampire way. :D I won't go into details, but they do have certain enhanced abilities. One of my issues? WHY do they have those abilities?
Don't explain it. I mean, really, don't explain anything about how they got their abilities. I know you're tempted to explain everything and make sure that everything makes sense, but you don't have to. If it were something important for the plot, you'd have already thought about it.

An example: look what happened in "Star Wars: Episode 1" (the first of the "new" series) with the midichlorians. Ugly. Up to that point, nobody cared for where the Force came from, or what was its origin. It just was. So you can do the same with your characters' abilities: they just are, and if you don't need to know its origin for plot's sake, it means that you don't need to know it at all.

My 2 cents, of course.

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Hi, my name is Regan and I’m stuck in a plot hole.

Post by Margo » September 14th, 2010, 1:58 pm

xouba wrote:they just are, and if you don't need to know its origin for plot's sake, it means that you don't need to know it at all.
Ouch, yeah, can't agree with this one. I agree that an author can leave something out because it's not obviously important to the plot, but I do believe the author should know. I've seen people write themselves into all kinds of corners and include all manner of inconsistencies because they didn't figure out this stuff beforehand. It bites especially hard in series books.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

Margo
Posts: 1712
Joined: April 5th, 2010, 11:21 am
Contact:

Re: Hi, my name is Regan and I’m stuck in a plot hole.

Post by Margo » September 14th, 2010, 2:02 pm

Regan Leigh wrote:One of my issues? WHY do they have those abilities? I know everything about the plot and characters, but when it comes to explaining why they even exist in the way that they do? Why their world is a certain way? Yeah, I'm empty. :D (And btw, it has a tiny bit of fantasy/paranormal, but it's mostly set in reality. Not some created world. Think more magic realism kind of feel.)
I'd say go for whatever explanation plays the worst on their fears and desires, provided that's not too heavyhanded and obvious. In other words, the answer is probably already there in your character work, but you're looking too hard.
Urban fantasy, epic fantasy, and hot Norse elves. http://margolerwill.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Mira
Posts: 1354
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 9:59 am
Contact:

Re: Hi, my name is Regan and I’m stuck in a plot hole.

Post by Mira » September 15th, 2010, 8:14 pm

Everyone else gave you such good advice, I'm not sure if I have anything much to add, except don't give up! I've had ideas come to me in the middle of the night, when I'm driving, in conversation with someone, etc.

Sometimes just giving it time to sit and simmer in your unconscious is exactly what's needed. And trusting the process. It will come to you. It may take awhile, but have faith. :)

User avatar
maggie
Posts: 50
Joined: August 22nd, 2010, 10:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Hi, my name is Regan and I’m stuck in a plot hole.

Post by maggie » September 15th, 2010, 10:09 pm

I sometimes find that talking the plot through with someone--either in person or online--can help. Not so much because they come up with the answer, but because something they say or ask might trigger you to realize something you didn't know about your story, like xouba said. These are some of my favorite moments in writing: when a plot hole or character problem is all of a sudden solved, like it was there the whole time and you just had to realize it. It's like the story has already happened and you're just figuring out all the pieces to retell it, or like your characters are real people who just haven't told you all about themselves yet.

Don't know if that makes any sense, but that's what sometimes helps me with giant plot holes!

User avatar
Regan Leigh
Posts: 207
Joined: January 15th, 2010, 4:24 am
Contact:

Re: Hi, my name is Regan and I’m stuck in a plot hole.

Post by Regan Leigh » September 16th, 2010, 12:01 am

Thank you JadePhoenix, xouba, Margo, Mira and maggie!

You all are making great points and giving me many things to think about.

I decided to try another method this week. :D I'm brainstorming on an entirely different MS. I plan to avoid this particular one for a couple more days. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. ;) When I return to it, I'll probably use many of your suggestions. :D

Thank you again for all the help!
Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest