Holes in plot and characters.

Question: I have already written the first draft of my novel, but I feel like something is missing. I realized I have holes in my plot and my characters' personalities. Should I try the snowflake method now that I've finished the first draft? I am afraid that if I try, I'll end up wasting my time and not get to the actual writing point.

Answer: The snowflake method is not a bad idea generator (although it's only designed to generate stories that have happy endings). However, it is not really designed to help you find holes. You may discover them for yourself while doing the method, but it won't tell you if a hole exists.

For finding plot holes, I recommend Dramatica, which is the most complete description of the elements that go into stories without becoming formulaic (as some of the monomyth approaches do).

Unfortunately, I don't go into all the elements on this site (at least not to date), but to get you started, check out the articles on the "Write a Novel" tab, particularly, "Create an Outline in 8 Easy Steps" and "Write an Outline."

You might find some of the info on the "Fiction Tips" tab useful too.

Two other things to try if that doesn't help...

1. Ask people to read your manuscript and see what didn't make sense to them, what seemed illogical or confusing, etc.

2. You might consider investing in the Dramatica software. This will ask you questions about your story. You answer the questions you can, starting with the most important, until the program locks into a storyform. At that point, it will predict the missing pieces. Just be warned, this is not a quick process for the first-time user.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero