How To Hide Plot Holes
Entertainment

How To Hide Plot Holes

Making necessary flaws work for your story

67
BagoGames

Sometimes your entire story hinges on one thing that’s just a little improbable.

You try to change it, but find the story doesn’t work without that particular element.

However, you don’t have to let it ruin your story.

With a little work, you can make that necessary flaw work within your story.

1. Make Everything Else Really Interesting

You can divert people’s attention from your story’s flaw if everything else is high quality.

Refine the other elements (such as character design and dialogue) so the overall effect is so enjoyable people don't notice the flaw.

For example, “The Terminator” tells a story about a time-traveling cyborg who tries to kill a woman before she bears a son who will become a war hero.

This robot has to pass himself off as a human being, get information about the woman’s location, then kill her.

There’s just one problem: Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the cyborg. He’s big, extremely noticeable, and doesn’t even try to behave like a normal person.

However, the audience forgives this flaw because the rest of the movie works so well.

The directing is good, and the actors give great portrayals.

The story combines elements from science fiction (time travel, robots), horror (psychotic killer, the couple who sleeps together dies first) and action (gun fights, car chases) into an exciting story.

The special effects are often still convincing thirty years later.

In short, the story excels on so many levels we’ll gladly look past the fact everyone would notice a 220-pound Austrian bodybuilder and wonder what he's doing.

2. Make It Seem Plausible Later


Go back to the flaw later and explain it so it appears reasonable.

In the first Star Wars movie, audiences learn the Death Star, a space station capable of destroying whole planets, has one weakness: an exhaust port that leads directly to the station’s core.

Not only do none of the villains know about this, but the defect lets a one-man spaceship blow up the entire space station.

This is like having a tank that a 22-caliber pistol can destroy by pointing at just the right panel.

However, the movie makes this defect seem reasonable.

We get a scene where the heroes discuss their plans and establish that hitting the exhaust port will be difficult. The port has some kind of shielding, they have to hit it exactly and the port is so small that one pilot states even a computer-guided weapon couldn’t hit it.

The recent movie “Rogue One,” which details how the heroes got the Death Star’s plans, rationalizes the flaw even further.

Here, we learn one of the Death Star’s designers chose to help the rebels and planted the fatal flaw where no one would notice it. The obvious defect becomes sabotage.

3. Play the Flaw as Freak Chance


If your flaw is something extremely unlikely, maybe the best thing to do is have your characters recognize it's weird.

Make it clear they know something abnormal has happened. Create situations where they talk about how strange it is.

This turns the flaw into something clever, an example of how weird life can be at times.

The action movie “John Wick” does this very well. The plot follows a retired hitman who goes on a revenge spree after his former employer’s son steals his car and kills his dog.

That’s right. John Wick kills a mobster's son because the son killed his pet.

The movie gives John Wick a backstory which makes the dog precious to him, so we see his perspective.

Still, it’s a strange reason to kill someone, and the characters know that.

Throughout the movie, the son and other characters protest that “it was just a dog!”

The mobster refers to his son’s actions as an act of fate or terribly bad luck. He even suggests that he and John Wick were cursed to bump into each other again.

4. Make Improbable Things Central to the Story


Instead of trying to hide or rationalize the flaw, make it seem normal.

Make the story about improbable people in improbable settings, where strange things seem typical.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” follows this formula perfectly. The main character was abducted by aliens in the 1980’s and still uses the Walkman cassette tape player he had at the time.

People who remember cassette tapes will tell you they can’t last 30 years when you play them constantly the way this guy does.

However, we ignore this because the movie is so silly.

This is a movie where planets can have fondue-yellow pools, where space aliens have corny makeup, and the hero can defeat the villain by dancing.

In other words, this is a “turn your brain off and enjoy the ride” kind of movie. A never-dying Walkman and cassette tape seem normal in it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments