Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for X-Ray

This year for the A-Z Challenge, I'm attempting to act like I know what I'm talking about and offering advice about writing.  Let's see how I do!

Also, don't forget to stop by the Parallels blog to see more posts about the upcoming anthology, which will be available on May 3rd!

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Every time we get to the letter X, I feel like I’m stretching the word I use to make my point.  Anyway, I’m using a medical metaphor to complete this post.

In order to tell an engaging story, you need to examine the bones of it, i.e. the plot.  X-ray it.  That means going over the plot structure with a critical eye.  You may have a strong plot that leads from a solid beginning to an equally solid ending.  There may be subplots branching off from the main one like peripheral nerves.  Check them all.

Perhaps I’ve taken this anatomical connection too far, but hopefully you’ll get my point.

You can write beautiful prose and solid characters, but don’t neglect the central structure of the story.  The plot needs to be coherent, and you can’t have any gaping plot holes.  Believe me, readers will eventually pick up on them, and they expect better from you than that.  People who don’t use a thorough outline, but rather go with the story as it unfolds, need to be especially careful.  Certain elements can get away from you if you’re not looking.  You don’t want any structural issues to slip through the cracks.


  1. I get the point. We need to be vigilant in recognizing and fixing plot holes.

    G. R. McNeese from
    Project Blacklight

  2. Clever use of X. I had to get a little creative too.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  3. So true. I am working on several novels at once. I am taking a step back to concentrate on finishing one. I have been working on these for 10 years. LOL keep changing things up and not finishing.

  4. J here, of the #atozchallenge Arlee Bird's A to Z Ambassador Team. With love from #azchat - the last for the year.
    My blog's giveaway is still going.
    Excellent point! Plot holes are evil.