Author articles: R.J. Scott on Dealing with the dreaded plot hole

Welcome back to BookWinked! On the last time of the month – a little later than planned – is this month’s Author Articles. This month’s guest is RJ Scott, who is here to talk about dealing with plot hole.

“In fiction, a plot holeplothole or plot error is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot. Such inconsistencies include such things as illogical or impossible events, and statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.” (Wiki)

I look at that definition and actually, to me a plot hole is a couple of hours with a notebook and pen closing that sucker down!

I’m writing away, setting the bad guys up for a fall, or getting the heroes together and suddenly I realized…

… F**k, I need that guy I killed off in book 6… or… Damnit, I have no idea where this is going! Or wait, isn’t his brother older than him…

This happened to me with Sanctuary 10, By The Numbers, which I have just sent off (27 April) to my long-suffering editor.

Now, this is how the plot hole occurred. Before I continue, I will readily admit that I am a pantser. This means I sit down and start writing with no clear direction of where a book is going. I haven’t met the characters yet, so I have no idea where I am heading with them.

When I begin a book what I do have in my head is a scene. It could be an opening scene, an end, or some random scene in the middle. The book grows from that.

All of this means that in Sanctuary nine, when my book ten hero decides to try killing himself (for reasons I won’t divulge here – but it was mostly to keep his sisters safe) it meant I’d written myself into a dramatic and angsty storyline for his love story in book 10.

But, this book is about bringing the bad guys to justice. How am I going to build this relationship, and what do I do about that part.

At the end of the day, I sat down with my notebook and a pen and scribbled out the timeline I had to date. I had to work in a secret, with its resulting reveal. An explosion. Covert action. Love scenes.

Finally, after five or so tries of making the jigsaw fit, I had filled the plot hole and finished the book.

This is the only downside to pantsing that I can see.

When I was finding the definition of a plot hole, I found this excellent page with plot holes from movies, and I had to share this first one about the poster in the Shawshank Redemption. Someone apparently didn’t think that one through!


Are you an author? Do you plot or are you a pantser? Do you notice plotholes in movies and books as a reader?


About RJ

RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

You can find RJ at the following places:
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | GoodReads | Tumblr

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