I stepped into a massive, stinky plot hole this past week. Yes, PLOT hole. Why was it stinky? Because inside the plot hole was a giant pile of CRAP.
I don't outline before I write, which means I'm always in danger of messing up my story. I like to think of myself as a shoot-from-the-hip kind of writer (can you picture me in a cowboy hat and a hip holster? Yeah, didn't think so), but trust me when I say I miss more than I hit. In fact, I often shoot my eye out.
As I was revising chapter fourteen last Thursday night, it suddenly occurred to me that a very minor character who's introduced in chapter five has inside knowledge of a very major character... which basically blows my story's twist to smithereens midway through the novel. Yes, I did say smithereens. Think Gatling gun.
To top it all off, I had house guests over the weekend – my good friend from British Columbia and her beautiful little 2-year-old daughter were here. I hadn't seen either of them in over a year and was thrilled they'd come to hang out with me. And yet here I was, well after midnight with the whole house asleep, stressing over the fact that my book was shot to hell because of a freakin' minor character starring in freakin' stupid subplot that ties into the main storyline just enough to ruin everything. And the more I tried to fix it, the more the story unraveled. It was like a pulling a loose thread from a knit sweater.
So, I did the only thing I could. I killed her (my character, not my friend.) And then spent the next seven days climbing out of the hole I'd dug myself into, doing damage control.
I'm finally back on track now, and I hope to God there are no more holes to fall in. You can be sure I'll be watching my step.