I just found a plot hole in my copy-edited manuscript. The manuscript they plan to put a cover on and try to sell. It’s in the first chapter. Not on the first page, but… IT’S IN THE FIRST CHAPTER.
I can plug the hole with a single sentence. It’s not a huge tear in the fabric of reality. We, meaning me and a number of editors, missed it. Consistently. For six months. Of course, a hole the size of our planet might easily be missed as well. We could have fallen through without touching the sides.
The copy editor missed it as well. She or he was too busy adding and deleting commas.
(I know some of you are questioning these added commas. I am known for sprinkling them liberally throughout everything I write. The idea someone might actually add some, well, it’s a bit like finding a plot hole, isn’t it?)
So what am I going to do? Well, as with everything to do with being published, there is a process.
The first step is a panicked email to a friend, which, by the way, was loaded with commas and expletives. Then an email to the editor I worked most closely with. Fewer commas, no expletives.
Next step is to hyperventilate for a while. Passing out is always sound therapy. Naps are good.
Ranting and raving comes after I wake up. Stamping my feet and flailing is optional, but also good. Movement is essential in situations like this. It fosters a feeling of being constructive.
Next, shopping. It’s a distraction. As this step occurs after a conversation with my husband about how much we’ve been spending lately (and on top of thoughts about how no one is going to buy this book, so I shouldn’t spend any money, ever), shopping is limited to essential items and one weird looking blue tank top that looks like someone wore it for twenty years before donating it to a thrift store.
It’s only ten dollars.
I’ll have to sell something like twenty-two books (I think) to pay for it.
Finally, after lunch, a cup of tea and an hour on the couch with a book that may or may not contain plot holes (it’s science fiction and full of weird ideas and science I only just grasp), I am ready to add that sentence.
Why couldn’t I add it before I went nuts and bought an ugly tank top?
Because life is full of plot holes. It’s inexplicable. Sometimes it just does not make sense. Your best course of action is to just hang on and enjoy the ride.