#Writetip: The Plausible Plot

Chapter 14 “Fork in the Road” of my upcoming #fantasy novel The First Light is now complete. However, after getting that first draft down on paper comes the point where I look it over for any glaring errors. Yep, I found one.

fork

“Fork in the Road” by Jack. Used under Creative Commons License.

A minor nemesis skulks away from a caravan in the middle of the night, and the next day the heroes must decide where he went, and whether to follow. I can hear readers thinking, “Well why didn’t they (our heroes) follow his tracks?” or “If it was dark, why didn’t they go after him at dawn?” Also, there’s the condition of the road itself. “Is it muddy, paved, dry baked dirt, or loose powdery dirt?” And of course, “If he’s skulking away, why wouldn’t he go across country?”

The fact is I failed to address any of those issues. This wouldn’t be classified as a plot-hole, but might well leave a reader feeling that the story isn’t plausible.

Rest assured that these issues have been addressed and explained, without creating a bulk of exposition. It was interesting to work my way through them, to really think about the capabilities of horses and wagons, and the logistics of travelling alone on a dangerous road.

As for Chapter 14, there is no literal fork in the road; I used the term figuratively. The main character’s next course of action is a major decision, from which there is no going back. Another fork is the relationship between my MC and a minor character. Will their romance survive their first lovers’ quarrel? I haven’t decided yet.

So it seems like I’ve come to a fork in the road as well. Isn’t it interesting when author and character are experiencing the same things?

What kinds of issues have you faced in making your novel completely plausible and hole-free?

6 thoughts on “#Writetip: The Plausible Plot

  1. I think that sometimes, as writers, we can get overly critical of ourselves and fell that we have to answer and account for every plot hole. But we have to remember that life isn’t always like that. There are plenty of times someone does something mean for no reason, or a crime goes unsolved or we don’t think to look for footprints until after we’ve contaminated the scene. When I read a book or watch a movie with an unanswered question, if it is well planned, I actually like it better. But there are, of course, times when it appears as if the author just forgot a previous detail and then that’s all I can focus on for the remainder of the book. I’m glad you got yours wrapped up and hope the burning romance can survive the tiff, if they are meant to stay tight. 🙂 Great post!

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  2. The process of empathy in writing is super fun for me. What you’re describing with the characters reminds me of it. Where you start thinking like they would, trying to make sure every thing they do fits with this entirely invented person you’re trying to bring to life.

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