The plot is one of the most important things in any story. It can either make or break it, so it’s crucial to make sure you have a thorough plot.
If you notice a huge hole in your plot, the best thing to do is work around it. A “hole” describes any section of plot where there is something that just doesn’t fit. For example, in a certain story a hole might be considered not knowing the motive for their first murder. This is something that’s important to the plot, so it would have to be filled in for the plot to be plausible.
The most important thing to keep in mind when fixing a plot is: could this really happen? Every plot should make the reader believe that it’s real, even if it’s fantasy or science fiction. The reader should think that it could happen within the world that it takes place. If a novel is set in the real world, it’s not very likely that a criminal would randomly kill without a motive. There’s some sort of thing that at least triggers them to start or forces them to continue. If you don’t think the reader can believe an aspect of your plot, it’s time to change it.
The first step to fixing your plot is brainstorming. Once you’ve realized what’s wrong with your plot, list ways to solve it. For example, if the murderer doesn’t have a motive, what could be their motive? The solution has to make sense within the context of the rest of the plot. The solution has to be believable, too. Citing “because he wanted to” is not a solution that a reader would believe.
If your trouble comes at the end of the story because you’re not sure how it ends, you might try a different route. What do you imagine the resolution being? Is the ending going to be happy or sad? Even answering basic questions like these can help. If you have a general idea of how it should end, think about expanding it. If you know the murderer gets caught in the end, elaborate on how, where, and why? Does he let himself get caught or is he outsmarted?
If you’ve spent a while trying to fix one part of the plot, a good thing to do is take a break. Go for a walk or relax to clear your mind so you’re refreshed for round two!