Author Guest Post
Plot Holes and Plot Devices
Anyone who has read my blog for a while probably knows I don’t like plot holes. It ticks me off when I’m rolling along with a story, flipping pages (virtual pages) as fast as my fingers allow, and then…I fall into a plot hole. What I do next depends on how deep that hole is. If it’s a small one I move on, and, assuming I don’t encounter one in every chapter, I keep moving on. But if it’s a massive plot hole I usually put the book down. Or in this case, close the application I’m reading with. I realize I’m picky. My wife has been telling me that for many years. But I read for pleasure, and I don’t get pleasure out of falling into plot holes.
What Is A Plot Hole?
Here’s a definition of a plot hole from Wikipedia.
Plothole: ⁃ a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot, or constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot. These include such things as unlikely behavior or actions of characters, illogical or impossible events, events happening for no apparent reason, or statements/events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.
Some of the worst plot holes come at either the beginning or end of the story. A classic example, from one of the best movies of all time, is in Citizen Kane. The entire movie centers around Kane’s last word, “Rosebud,” and yet, Kane died by himself. Alone. No one could have known what he said.
Another one is from Independence Day, the science fiction movie where we destroyed the aliens with a computer virus. The problem with that is we couldn’t have known the alien technology to be able to create the virus. Even in our simple world, a virus from a PC doesn’t translate to a MAC, so how could we expect to make a virus that would infect a technology so superior to ours, from another world?
Books and movies are full of plot holes. If it’s a movie, I sometimes watch to see if I can find the holes.
What Is A Plot Device?
Here’s a definition of a plot device: ⁃ A plot device is a character, or a thing, that affects the plot, moves it forward, serves as a decoy or a red herring, etc.
Unfortunately sometimes a reader sees a plot device and thinks it’s a plot hole, a mistake, an author error. These instances can appear to be similar, but they couldn’t be further apart.
I’ll give you an example from one of my books. I have a situation where there is a clue that gets overlooked by the lead detective on the case. His maid even mentions that he might want to check out that angle to the case, but there doesn’t seem to be anything of substance to it. Later on it turns out to be a valid clue and his partner gets hurt, an incident that might have been prevented if he’d found the killer earlier.
One reviewer thought this was a plot hole, but it wasn’t. In this scenario, I obviously knew what was going on. The maid was used as a plot device, and for good reasons. I wanted to show that the detective makes mistakes, like everyone else, and I wanted to give him a reason to be ticked off at himself in the next book for letting his partner get hurt. That one mistake will be used to build his character and create future conflict.
If the detective had missed the clue and the maid had not brought it up, then it could have been viewed as a plot hole that the author was too lazy to go back and fix. If the author had left it alone and solved the crime another way, it would have been a huge plot hole, but the way it was presented it was a plot device.
The holes mentioned in the movies I cited could have been fixed easily. In Citizen Kane, he could have written the word “Rosebud” instead of uttering it on his deathbed. It would have also worked if he had someone with him when he died. Either one would have solved the problem and we would still have the mystery of what he meant by Rosebud. In the movie, Independence Day, if they had explained how they could develop a sophisticated virus to infect an alien computer technology, that would have worked.
There are thousands of books and movies with huge gaping plot holes and just as many great ones with clever plot devices. I’d love to hear from you about some of your favorites.
About The Author
Murder Has Consequences by Giacomo Giammatteo
Book 2: Friendship & Honor Series
Publisher: Inferno Publishing Company
Publication Date: February 20, 2013
Format: Paperback - 383 pages / Kindle - 667 KB / Nook - 613 KB
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / ThrillerNote: Excessive strong language, Graphic violence, Explicit sexual scenes
BUY THE BOOK: Murder Has Consequences
BARNES & NOBLE
BUY THE SERIES: Friendship & Honor Series
Book 1: Murder Takes Time
Book 2: Murder Has Consequences
BARNES & NOBLE
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.
For a select few people, friendship lasts forever. Nicky Fusco and Frankie Donovan were friends like that, but that was years ago. Now Frankie’s a detective in Brooklyn’s Homicide department, and Nicky is a reformed hit man. But when Frankie gets in trouble—and the law can’t help him—he turns to Nicky.
The problem is that Nicky promised his family, and God, that he’d go straight.
My Book Review:
In the second book of the Friendship & Honor Series, Murder Has Consequences, the riveting story about childhood friends, mobster Nicky Fusco and Brooklyn Homocide Detective Frankie Donovan, continues where it left off in Murder Takes Time. Author Giacomo Giammatteo once again weaves a fast-paced and gritty no-holds barred murder mystery thriller that captivates the reader's attention as Nicky and Frankie are reunited under the bonds of friendship and honor.
Frankie is on the hunt for a brutal serial killer in Brooklyn with his new partner. But when his brother-in-law is killed in Wilmington, Delaware, Frankie becomes the prime suspect in his brother-in-law's murder, so he turns to Nicky for help in finding the person who is trying to frame him.
Nicky has turned over a new leaf, the reformed hit man has promised his wife, family and God that he would lead a straight life. But when Frankie asks for his help, Nicky is torn between keeping his promise to his family and helping his best friend ... for the bonds of friendship and honor are strong ... but are they unbreakable?
Just like in Murder Takes Time, Murder Has Consequences is the continuation of a thrilling multidimensional story of love, family, friendship, honor, loyalty and murder. It has intriguing layers cleverly interwoven together with non-stop action, drama, tension, suspense, and unexpected twists and turns, that keeps the reader riveted to their seat and turning the pages. You can't help but get drawn into Nicky and Frankie's complex story as their bond of friendship is tested with dark and realistic consequences.
The story has a cast of characters who are realistic and complex; with explicit dialogues and interactions. The storyline flows smoothly and engages the reader with its richly vivid and very graphic details and descriptions of ruthless murder scenes, crime investigations, acts of friendship and costly revenge and justice.
Murder Has Consequences is a chilling and suspenseful crime novel that takes the reader on one hell of a thrilling roller coaster ride. The Friends & Honor Series is a must read, you won't be disappointed.
RATING: 5 STARS *****
Virtual Book Tour Schedule