Archive for July 16th, 2009

Jul 16 2009

Cover Your Plot Holes… It Could Be Funny

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Plot holes are a point in a story where something happens for no believable reason. Indeed, sometimes the plot hinges on a plot hole.  For example, why would a criminal put snakes on a plane rather than kill the witness in a more conventional way?


1.  Plot holes are an opportunity. Most plot-holes can be explained– often humorously!– with a few lines.  Aren’t there easier ways to kill someone than putting snakes on a plane?  “You think I didn’t exhaust every other option?  He saw me!”  This hand-waving helps readers suspend their disbelief.  It isn’t logically air-tight, but it doesn’t have to be.


2.  Readers are generally receptive to your explanations, even if they’re flimsy. Not offering an explanation is almost always worse because it makes it look like you don’t see the problem.  That ruins your authorial credibility.  It also makes it hard for readers to suspend their disbelief.

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Jul 16 2009

How to Make Your Love Interest a Real Character

“Love interest” is a degrading term. It brings to mind the shiny-eyed chick, with nothing better to do than swoon over the hero and get kidnapped. But they don’t have to be like that! It only takes five steps to save the mandatory trophy girlfriend.

1. Make her her own character. Ask yourself what she’s like. Was your answer “she loves the hero very much”, or worse, something about her looks? Hard as it is to believe, she probably has a life beyond loving the hero. Find out what she’s like apart from him. Don’t think of her as a love interest. Think of her as a girl, who loves the hero. Develop her the same way you developed the heroes. Why does she act how she does? What makes her stand out?

2. Know why they fall in love. This is vital if they haven’t met in the beginning. Now, pick a movie with a romantic subplot. Any movie. Watch the scene where they meet. Chances are, there’s no meaningful interaction. They talk about nothing important…but he keeps eyeing her like he’s never seen a girl before.  It doesn’t work that way.

I’ll admit it’s doable in movies, but it stands out like a sore thumb in written form. Look at it realistically. Ask yourself this: what originally drew them to each other? Was it a personality trait that attracted her to the hero? Why does he love her?

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