Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When the Tracks Don't Meet (or Travelling At the Speed of Plot) (an IWM post)

Have you seen that cartoon of the train tracks being laid? They're coming from two different directions, but there's a problem: The tracks don't meet up in the middle the way they are supposed to. I think there are a bunch of guys standing there scratching their heads. Or something.
Yeah, I would have liked to have posted the image here, but I couldn't find it. You'll just have to pretend.

Usually, where books are concerned, those kinds of things are called "plot holes," but, really, they're not the kinds of things I would call "holes." They're just pieces of... let's call them "discontinuity." I hate them more than the plot holes, I think. Oh, you need me to differentiate?

Okay, let's say your protagonist loses the keys to his car in chapter two but, in chapter five when he's running from the bad guys, he fumbles them out of his pocket: That's a plot hole. And that's not what I'm talking about in this post.

* * *

If you want to find out what I am talking about, you'll have to hop over to Indie Writers Monthly. Oh, you want a hint? Fine, I'll give you a hint. It looks something like this:
Did that get your attention? Good. Now, go read the rest.


  1. Not a hole but two ideas that just don't come together.

  2. Alex: Yeah, something like that. Doing things that make the pieces not meet up correctly.

  3. I do agree with you that a story - any story, even if it's not what one would call speculative fiction - should follow its own internal logic.

  4. Hahaha… now I HAVE to go read that other post! I laughed while reading this, because those couple times you addressed a question, I was totally thinking that question right before you addressed it. Funny! :)

  5. TAS: Breaking the rules the author has set up in the story will break it for me faster than anything else.

    Morgan: But you didn't tell me what you thought!