I’m eight chapters in and every chapter or so I “reveal” something. This chapter I was going to “surprise” the reader with the fact that two characters know each other…except for the fact I established that they went to the same high school and are the same age. I’m now altering the plot a bit so it’s more about the fact that they’re involved in something shady, but I can’t believe I missed something so glaring.
Like I recently told someone else, when we begin writing, we’re getting the ideas in our head down on paper, so to speak. Sometimes we write scene by scene what the MC is doing. It isn’t until we get further into the story that we notice things like that. I’ve had to go back and change things because what I started with doesn’t fit a later idea about the plot. Sometimes I delete whole scenes or chapters because 40 chapters in, I realize what I wrote is great character development, but actually has no connection to the plot whatsoever.
The simple part of editing is grammar, sentence structure, small timeline adjustments, rearranging a paragraph or two. The more complex part of editing is “the director’s cut” version of searching out plot holes, adding or cutting scenes, fine-tuning the plot itself.
Great job on catching it yourself, it’s a hallmark of a good writer!
There was a book on here I loved, minus two things.
The first was that the writer used the same three character reactions constantly. Like, their eyes would widen four times in one chapter.
The second thing was a giant plot hole. It was about a missing child, a teenager who ran away from her abusive mother. She was arrested for something and brought back to her and her mother’s new husband, who was a police officer. He was not aware she had a child. The problem was that he was a cop and this was a small town, where it was established that a missing child was a very rare case and that fellow cops had been working on it for the last two years. There was no way he would have not known about it.
Much of the story was based on this giant plot hole and knawed at me for the entire book.
That kind of plot hole could be easily fixed by the mom moving to a different town. Sometimes you just can’t see the Forest through the trees.
I once read a scene that went from hospital bed to dining room table. I had to look a few times just to figure out what had happened. Had to leave a comment there, lol.
I think her dad was buried in the backyard or something like that. There were a lot of ties to the home, I think. It was a great book, but that plot hole was like a masquito flying next to my ear the whole time.
You’re story may have been better off for it, honestly! I once had a major plot point that I (and the protagonist) was going to hide until quite late in the book and a beta reader told me she understood what I was trying to do, but it wasn’t really working. Sometimes when we think we are keeping a secret like that, and the characters are keeping that secret from reader and other characters, we think we’re building tension, but it’s actually more valuable to the reader just to know.
It’s really good practice when you’re doing this sort of reveal thing to go through and re-do your outline if something big changes and you can respond to a change that improved on your original plan. As long as you shift pieces to adapt to what you’ve established, you’re good.
To be quite honest, I wrote a whole mystery and while I did outline, I changed a lot, like even the climax and the ending i realized wasn’t going to work and my main trick for acting like I had planted everything knowingly in advance is to just take what I have already written and use that to solve my problems. (In my case, I managed to fix my ending by tying it back to a secret tunnel’s dead end–and was a dead end until I used it for my ending) ta-da! You did everything on purpose and knew what you were doing the whole time!