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Plot hole

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A plot hole is a flaw in the plot, or a gap or inconsistency in the storyline that goes against logic already established by the story's plot. It can also be used to describe the omission of information relevant to the plot.

Examples of plot holes would be characters behaving in unlikely ways, impossible or illogical events, things happening for no apparent reason, or events that contradict earlier events in the novel.

A plot hole is not the same as an unlikely event, chance occurrence or question left unanswered. It is usually something that is essential to the story's resolution. Plot holes are seen as flaws or weaknesses, and writers do their best to avoid them to make their stories seem more realistic. Some genres are more tolerant than others, especially when the story itself requires suspension of disbelief in order to work.

Sometimes a plot hole can be solved by changing a few lines of dialogue; at other times, it may require completely rewriting the story. Sometimes, having characters make statements that deflect accusations of plot holes (for example, "I've tried everything I can think of" can help to prevent questions about why a particular action wasn't taken) can be enough. The earlier on in the writing process that a plot hole is noticed, the easier it is likely to be to fix it.

The Plot Doctoring forum helps Wrimos work through plot holes in their stories.