I’ve been noticing more and more plot holes in the books I’ve been reading lately. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been paying more attention to them, or if it’s just my book selection. And I’m pretty sure it’s not because I’m experiencing short term memory loss while reading and blacking out so I don’t remember certain details…
I’ve noticed that I usually catch more plot holes in books that are part of a series, usually not the last book, than any other type of book. I think it’s because the author has the keep some information hidden to get readers interested and read the next book. Whatever the reason, it kind of annoys me. If I want to know something, I want to know it now, not a year later when I can barely remember what I wanted to know.
This one can get confusing. In the world where many YA characters feel the need to hang on to their “mysterious” pasts, I should be used to this, but I’m not. I like knowing things about people. All their little quirks and personalities. I like knowing what makes them tick and how they came to be the way they currently are. Those facts all help me better understand the character and the better I understand a character, the more I am able to connect to him / her on a more personal, meaningful level. When I’m missing information, usually because it’s being withheld for another book, it’s harder for me to sympathize and truly understand the character, which can lead to some unkind feelings toward him / her.
Fantasy / Dystopian / Sci-Fi
Okay, to be honest, I’m not completely sure about the validity of what I’m typing right now. I feel like those genres of books I’ve just mentioned are more likely to contain plot holes and missing information than some other genres, namely Contemporary, but that might be because I read those genres way more often than I read the others. Anyways sometimes I feel like the more unrealistic the book, the more plot holes it has. It could be because of the world building, because seriously, who wants to read ten chapters full of details of how the world came to be. But would it hurt to include some extra information?
Plot holes are definitely taken into account when rating standalones. With a book in a series, I have the ability to consider the idea that the plot hole was intentional and will be resolved in the following book. With standalones, I have no way to justify plot holes in my review, except maybe its a fantasy or dystopain novel, but let’s face it, how many fantasy / dystopian standalones exist? And the only thing worse than a love triangle is finishing a novel and still feeling dissatisfied because of missing information. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit, but still…
Intentional vs Unintentional
Going back to what I said earlier about some information being kept secret to keep readers interested and plot holes in world building, how do tell if a plot hole is intentional or not? How do you know if the author is simply setting the stage for another book, like a cliffhanger, or if they didn’t realize they were leaving out information readers might think is important? Personally, I like to try to give authors the benefit of doubt when it comes to this stuff. I like to think plot holes and missing information in a book that is part of a series will be resolved later on. But with standalones… I don’t know.
What do you think?
Do you notice any other patterns with plot holes and missing information?
How do tell if a plot hole is intentional or not?