Plot holes and ill thought-out arcs

Via Chuckles, Steve Sailer looks at fictional and true stories:

This post is about fictional and the deep annoyance at plot holes and ill thought out story arcs, e.g. Doctor Who, e.g. Andromeda, e.g. just so many lazily worked through arcs and plots.

There’s a bit of stick in this, an edge shall we say, because I’m currently plunged into redacting my entire long book – at the time of writing, I’ve got up to 2:20.

I’d go so far as to say that in a book that length, with that many wholesale changes in direction over twenty years, you’re going to get at least a few anomalies and sure enough, in 2:17, there are some doozies.

There’s a main protagonist called Emma, a honey, and she was fine until part three when she started doing such stupid things, wrong things, brought to her partner’s attention but because the plot demanded she be there at the end, there either had to be an epiphany to sustain the continuing bad person idiocies and he still loving her … or else there had to be a radical change.

The radical change was to make the ‘goodie’ one Nicolette and Emma was a sleeper ‘baddie’. the story structure was that she made her first mistake whilst sailing to Europe with them and even though she was sprung, still she was tolerated even after they got to London and in their subsequent employment, which really was not on.

As that part of the story in London had some good plot lines to it, I’m loathe to delete it so the only way is to go back and make her dead giveaways less dead giveaway, something I’m attempting to do now.

The issue is that the male protagonist and other female protagonist are such bright cookies, so sharp, so able to ferret out truth, along with having vast experience at it, that it’s beyond credulity that they don’t tumble to her early when it’s right in front of them.

That’s the sort of thing which can annoy a reader and if it means going back and rewriting sections, then so be it.

One last chin-stroker.  I see that 2:20 was written three years ago and yet this paragraph below was in there.  It’s about an ex-French police officer now on the run for his views, he finds work in London.  Here he addresses his wife in pillow talk:

… and yet this work is killing me – ‘advising’ a police force who don’t wish to be advised and something more – these are not police I recognise. These are not eager young officers about to go through the process which will see them out on the beat, fully equipped.

These, Genie, are thugs, I’ve seen it in so many of their eyes. These are defenders of the state, rather than defenders of the people, these are the riot police and they’re joining in increasing numbers – intransigent, uncommunicative, nothing like the officers I once knew …

Could almost be today. And in the previous chapter, the PM takes on a mad SpAd and many in cabinet want rid of him. Cummings?

1 comment for “Plot holes and ill thought-out arcs

  1. February 26, 2020 at 12:19

    Quite uncanny – written three years ago, this is the bit I’m up to now:


    ‘Oh, Hugh, I don’t like any of it. This country is unsettled when the Prime Minister has to fire half his cabinet and half of Whitehall with it. Things are very wrong.’

    ‘The people are behind him, of course. He was quite explicit in the broadcast but now he has a minority government and he’s on the way out. That puts us in grave danger too. My feeling is that he’ll get back with a new team and score a resounding victory.’


    Boris? How could I have known that three years ago?

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