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.

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