The other day, I met with my critique partner. Although he had some good things to say, there was one very glaringly epic fail with my draft: I had completely failed to elucidate my plot. Ugh.
Normally, this happens because the person in question doesn’t have a clear plot in mind. Perhaps they didn’t outline beforehand or the story took an unexpected turn during the writing.
In my case though, I had left out some significant details. Without them, it was hard to catch the key part of the plot — that the hero and her enemies had been tossed across the known universe and now had to work together.
This got me thinking about what else can derail a perfectly good plot. Here are some of the plot pitfalls I came up with.
- Lack of Character Motivation
If your character doesn’t need or want anything, it’s hard to keep a plot going.
- False Suspense
This is the topic of a whole ‘nother post, but basically it involves building suspense where no suspense needs to be. It also obscures your plot.
- Lack of Significant Details
You’re plot might be there in a conceptual sense, but the reader can’t find/follow it.
What are some plot pitfalls you’ve seen? Let me know in the comments below.