I came across a major issue with my current work in progress (WIP). I have a major plot issue. Some would call it a plot hole. In my second book of the Reid Harris series, I need to have this guy transform in a major way. I like to describe Mr. Harris as a bit of an anti-hero, however, Mr. Harris needs to grow up!
The idea I have for this book (currently called The Expatriate) is full of life-changing events for Reid. I don’t want to spoil anything, but my main character is going to have to grow a pair of balls or die.
What is a plot hole?
Wikipedia has a general definition, “plot hole or plot error is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot.”
Here’s the problem.
Reid Harris is about to do rather amazing, taking into regard he has some nasty mental issues. I’m imagining major change for him by the book’s end to explore his psyche in future works. But he can’t, if he has PTSD? Well, he needs to overcome and adapt. That’s the plot hole, he cannot transform unless he’s willing to change or showing that willing to look inside himself. Since this transformation could be radical, it puts Reid on a hero’s journey.
Reid doesn’t want to be the hero, but he goes away with the antagonist. He’s going to sacrifice himself in order to pet the dog.
Just so you know, when a protagonist goes and “pets the dog” they are potentially putting themselves at risk to help other. The pet the dog scene has major intention and is a way to show your main character’s humanity.
I have followed James Scott Bell’s superstructure formula. It applies to almost everything I do. Except this issue I’m having today.
I need to switch up the structure a bit and work on Reid’s hero elements. (Oh, how I hate the hero’s journey).
I’m pulling a few old tricks from my learnings. I hope this works but I hate relying on the hero’s journey which puts a story at risk of being redundant. In my experience I get something more unique following superstructure. However, I need my hero to journey back home with something to show for his deeds to make the story have a logical conclusion.
That end point is called the Rebirth on the hero track. Reid is potentially going through something similar to rebirth, which his supporting characters are anew after coming out in the end.
I also have another problem with this WIP. I’ve been writing a POV character that is a shapeshifter and failed to realize it. In “The Hero with a Thousand Faces (first published in 1949)” by Joseph Campbell – defined the Shapeshifter as someone who blurs the line between ally and enemy.
I’ve heard the quote from several authors and writing coaches before—Pablo Picasso said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” I think I’m breaking or mashing up my rules for necessity—let’s just hope it looks like a pretty work of art in the end.
Fingers crossed and butt cheeks clenched for the next twenty to thirty days to get my last act done for the first draft.
Here’s another Picasso quote, one of my favs.