File this one under #WriterProblems, because damn if I can think of anyone else who'd have this issue.
In keeping with what usually happens when I plot, with my second idea being the better one, I've been working on plot changes for the new Shiloh & Alexi story this past week. This started when I sat down to review the plot, in hopes of getting started on writing it soon, and realized that it had a slow, weak beginning.
I swear, going over my own notes is like deliberately looking for trouble sometimes. But at least it leads to stuff that's worth reading, as opposed to what happens when I try to write a book without notes. Anyway.
I've put the story through some significant changes already. Nothing quite like changing the main location from a magic-heavy college town to a merchants' city on the edge of an over-enchanted desert wasteland to shake up just about everything. The beginning is considerably stronger, and has the main characters sneaking around and getting into trouble before the end of the first chapter, which is a great improvement. The antagonists' roles are largely unchanged, because I thought I could still make all their plots work in the new setting.
I don't have a suitable video for this, but please imagine a minutes-long clip collection of your favorite TV and/or movie characters saying "Wrong!" over and over and over again.
Much of the plot revolves around the antagonists engineering a shady deal involving ancient artifacts, and our heroes' attempts to both keep the artifacts safe and get revenge on the merchant house that screwed over both their families a decade ago. But changing the setting to a less urban area got me thinking: what's there to stop the antagonists from simply doing their deals out somewhere in the middle of the wasteland, where there's no one to witness them and no one to interfere? (Aside from some kind of magic-warped creature, maybe, but these people can handle that.)
I'd like to think I've gotten better at finding my own plot holes, and I'm quite glad that I found this one before I started writing the book. It's far better to find these things after writing forty-something pages in a plot document than after writing forty-thousand-something words in a novel. (Did that once. It sucked.) But it's not a huge deal to find a plot hole that requires some plot spackle in the form of a little bit of background story or a loophole in how things work.
As opposed to a plot hole so big it sucks the entire story into it, never to be seen again.
And so, I need to figure this out. I've already gone through the entire plot to make all the alterations for the new setting, and now I'm wondering just how much more I'm going to have to do to make this all work. I've already come up with quite a few ridiculous hoops for the characters to jump through to justify some of the shady dealings, and I'm starting to think the book needs more than a setting change. The fact that I can use the phrase "quite a few ridiculous hoops" to describe my own plot is probably a sign that I need to do some serious reworking.
So: anyone else ever been through this? I don't doubt we've all edited our own stuff and found issues that had us making forehead-shaped dents in our desks. How did you get through it? How much did you have to change? And most importantly, did it work?