I want to talk about gaping plot holes. Why? Because it’s something I think about a lot, especially when writing a book about people with super powers. I go over every scene, thinking about the powers on the table or even powers of characters that aren’t there, trying to look at it from every angle. My biggest fear is that someone will read one of my books and say something like, “Well why can’t Tommy see that tiny clue that unlocks the whole mystery?” or “How come Roz didn’t have a vision of that?” With book one, it was a little easier to control, because there were a set number of powers. Book two is a different beast all together. As with any good sequel, you have to up your game, and Connected 2 has no fewer than six new powers revealed. So if you’re wondering why the heck it’s taking so long to get the book out, that’s part of the problem. 🙂 I’m not going to lie, that and life in general (I promise, it’ll be here soon).
Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because I’m wondering if I’m overthinking it, which is an annoying habit of mine. I have to wonder when I see so many popular movies with HUGE plot holes. To illustrate this, I’ll pick two cartoon movies, “Home,” and “Inside Out.” Okay, I know what you’re thinking, why not a horror movie? I don’t know about you, but for me the gaping plot holes become more apparent the more times I watch a movie. And because I’m a parent, I’ve seen cartoon movies far more times than any sane person should.
“Home,” is based off the fantastic novel, “The True Meaning of Smekday,” by Adam Rex. If you haven’t read the book, go purchase it now. I know it’s not indie, but it’s so much fun. The movie is fun too, I mean Jim Parsons just blesses anything he’s in. I digress, the gaping plot hole in “Home” has to do with technology and aliens. I understand the desire to make the movie less “heavy” in subject matter than the book, so they came up with this new plot of Oh sending out an email to everyone in the galaxy. Here’s the problem for me: I’m in IT.
Really, you’re telling me an advanced alien race with the power of intergalactic travel plus the ability to mod an automobile to fly using slushy machines can’t recall a simple email or change a user’s password? There isn’t a single system administrator in the entire Boov collective? Humans have been able to do this since the early versions of Outlook and Windows. I get that it’s a cartoon and I’m supposed to suspend my disbelief, but I feel like the writers just got lazy.
I really love “Inside Out” – it’s such a fun movie, and it teaches children that it’s okay to experience all your emotions, that it’s normal and healthy to feel sadness sometimes. And the casting was perfect in that movie… Amy Poehler is just a genius. But upon watching it for the hundredth time, I discovered two plot holes. One is more minor, the kind of thing you could excuse because the characters maybe just didn’t think of it. It’s when Joy and Sadness run into the mind workers that are clearing out old memories. One of the mind workers sends up the Triple Dent gum commercial, and it goes straight to headquarters. So my question is – why didn’t Joy just send up the core memories then? Obviously they still would’ve had to get back, but it would’ve solved half the problem.
The second plot hole is the more offensive one, and I only discovered it recently. It’s towards the end, when Fear decides to quit and gets himself sucked up the tube, only to be spit back out because emotions can’t quit. If Fear couldn’t get sucked up in the tube, why were Joy and Sadness able to get sucked up in that same tube? That one is more unforgiveable – you can’t explain it away with intention, it’s not like the tube can differentiate an emotion trying to escape versus an accidental foray into the tube. Disney writers are probably some of the best in the world. It’s difficult to get anything to appeal to such a wide range of audience; they really do have to entertain the parents as much as the children. So why did they allow that to sneak through? Did they just not care? Or am I over-analyzing the whole thing?
How about you, what are some of your favorite gaping plot holes? And do you think this is something to be concerned with when writing a book, or are you of the opinion that I’m totally deranged? Post a comment, let me know what you think!