Tag Archive | plot holes

What to test for DNA?

So, I don’t know how accurate this website is, because it is a giant ad for DNA testing materials. However, it’s fun, so I’m posting it anyway.

This is a chart of all the possible ways to get DNA from someone who doesn’t want to cooperate. I’ll give you a hint. Hero walks into the bad guys office and gets a chance to snag cigarette butts or an envelope he just licked, smoking works for the hero’s advantage here. :D

On that same note, the heroine doesn’t need to try to get semen from the bad guy if the bad guy happens to have a cold.

Mermaids versus no mermaids.

If you’ve been around here a while, you probably know that I’m working on a novel about mermaids.  At least, that was my plan. Just Trust Me is the prelude to this novel and I started writing it this month.

However… I’m running into some problems. Mainly, mermaids are *2!%!%!%^! hard to write about!

This leads me to question if I should write it on mermaids. The reasons are as follows.

Why I want to write Mermaids:

  1. Mermaids are awesome.
  2. I’ve discovered a few twists with mermaids that I’d like to play along with.
  3. One of the main components  of my story is the fact that the mermaids are “rescuing” humans, and the humans are living under the sea as mermaids. I can’t figure out a situation that involves that.
  4. All of my houses and town arrangements involve a 3D layout of the towns. I’m not sure how to change that (besides making them able to fly.)
  5. I have heard rumors of mermaids possibly being the next thing after vampires.

Why I don’t want to write mermaids:

  1. One of my components is the fact that mermaids and humans can produce offspring. I can’t figure out how they could do reconstructive surgery and still keep the private areas in tack enough.
  2. I can’t figure out how or what they can eat or drink. Particularly eat. And while I’m on that, what about smoking?
  3. Movement is difficult to describe. Sitting, standing, walking, ect.
  4. I can’t figure out how to do furniture either.
  5. Sometimes too unique of an environment throws readers. I’m here to tell a good story, not show how good I am at creating an environment.

So, I have three options.

A) Keep it as it is and figure all this out. After all, I’m a writer. I should be able to.

B) Create an air pocket under the sea, so they generally walk around on two legs, like the Irish mermaids can, add extra buoyancy which not only allows them to have a 3D movement but then they can jump up, and, if desired, they can swim  through the water well and rescue humans. Then also, they can eat easier.

C) Create a world that involves flying “mermaids,” so I maintain the 3D movement aspect, make it easier for them to eat, keep the legs, so  we have no problem with reproducing, and movement is the best. The problem with this is: what are the humans in this scenario?

Any thoughts?

Things to remember while writing my first draft:

As I work on my first draft of my mermaid story, I’m find myself having to remind myself about how to write. As this is only my second or third novel, I want it to be just like the novel I already finished. So here is a list of things to remind myself as I write.

  1. This will not be perfect.
  2. Write first; edit later.
  3. Your characters talk to you more while you write than when you plan. So write already.
  4. Facebook and wordpress are only there to distract you.
  5. As related to number four, facebook and wordpress do not need to be checked every five minutes. They can live without you.
  6. Mail doesn’t need to be checked either.
  7. Facts about how much caffeine a dog can intake doesn’t need to be looked at.
  8. It’s just ones and zeros. Ones and zeros are cheap and easy to change, so keep writing.
  9. Your perceptions of how good a section is  aren’t reliable. Just because you think it’s boring doesn’t mean that it’s boring. Wait a little bit.
  10. Sometimes character histories have to change.
  11. Sometimes it’s best to wait until later to look up a small bit of factual information. After all, the internet will then distract you.
  12. Be open to change.

That’s all I have at the moment. Do you have anything to add?


During many movies and TV shows, we see a patient goes flatline, he’s basically dead, and the doctor and rescue team swoops in, grabs the paddles, shock him a few times and he walks out of the hospital in two hours.

In movies and TV shows. Generally speaking, in ONLY movies and TV shows.

Why is that?

Because if the person is in a true flatline, meaning there is no electrical activity in the heart, paddles, or defibrillation as it is known in the medical world, will do nothing.

So, a few comments on this, so your stories are a bit more accurate.

1) If a patient is flatline (asystole), the patient needs two drugs. A) Epinephrine. B) Vasopressin. With epinephrine, you can give that as many times as you want, spaced about every three minutes I think it is. With Vasopressin, you can only give that once and that is all. Keep in mind that this i when the heart has completely stopped.

2) If you really want to shock a patient, they need to be in ventricular fibrillation (V-Fib) or Ventricular tachycardia without a pulse, otherwise known as V-tach without a pulse. In common language, the ventriculers are going really, really fast, which will manifest as a fast heart rate.

3) There are these things called automatic defibrillators in many public locations. With these things, anyone can shock a patient, because it’s all automatic. You attach the pads, run the read cycle, and then the machine will tell you whether or not you can shock the patient. I’m sure there’s a video out there if you are very curious.

Use your brain!

I encourage you to please seriously consider these words, because more often I am finding in movies the existence of plot holes that should have been addressed and yet are left unattended like an open sore. Know this: Few manuscripts with a plot hole will survive much longer than ten years.

Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason; they made no such demand upon those who wrote them.

Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon, 1820

The Burden of Writing

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.
Z.N. Hurston

changing faces

I don’t think I’ve never told you about my (someday written) novel, mindskill. So, I was going to summarize it and I don’t think I can do that. There are almost too many plots in my head right now.

The important part: Vanessa is a college student who comes home for a friend’s wedding only to be attacked. She kills the man but in a panic, she flees to avoid prison. Along the way she is told that she has a special skill of telepathy, whose development has thus far been a secret to most people.

She discovers that her father was (he died about six months from the beginning of the book) heavily involved in the development of the telepathy. It was he who gave it to her, because she had the plan of going into law enforcement as well. My idea behind her dad was that he was rather naive in his belief that by allow police to know immediately whether a person was lying or not would prevent innocent people from going to jail and enable better investigations, making the world safer.

Problems I ran into were two fold. 1) How would this be physically done? 2) Why would a kind father do this to his daughter? 3) Other complications that result for questionable things. (Including the fact that this intelligent doctor is very naive and I can’t imagine that happening.)

In part because of those reasons, I discard that plot in favor of writing short stories. But after a little bit of writing short stories, I wanted to write one of (the more rounded) characters in this story. So I started thinking about it and playing with it and I think I am going to have to make a serious change which I can’t say I like the idea of doing.

See, up until this point, I have been thinking of the dad as a good guy. Maybe slightly misinformed but generally good. If I change that, some things start falling into place.

BEFORE: Dad worked in a place generally like America (I haven’t decided if it is or not yet. I know. Bad writer.) the whole time, Vanessa and Dad lived in a nice house, and life was pretty good. Vanessa was busy at school doing school things and Dad was at work but everything was pretty much fine.

Dad insisted on privacy and gave it to his daughter as a gift.

NOW: Mom died (tragically) when Vanessa was ten.  I knew this and this has not changed. However, Dad, in overwhelm grief, runs away to work in, say, Africa, sending Vanessa to boarding school. While in Africa, Dad probably catches up with some people, and they discover telepathy and start selling it to countries as a weapon, playing very much of a double faced game, where they say that America has to buy it or else they’ll sell it to Iran, and telling Iran the same thing, selling it to both the countries with neither of them knowing it.

When Vanessa comes home for summer, Dad is generally detached and distant, but so much that he doesn’t a) realize where this will be heading to in the near future and b) actually give it to her as a protection for when these powers clash.

As a result, when she is finds out that she has the telepathy, she would have actually joined the group that her dad left behind her. Her dad’s death would have been a result of clashing opinions (between him, who wants to continue doing what they are doing, and Karl, who wants to start taking over the government and doing government reformation.(Yes, there is more to Karl; I’m not making him a faceless evil overlord. I’ve given that advice a bit too much.))

It’s drastic, I know. It would be hard enough for her without finding out that her dad was a traitor to the country and probably wanted by someone. But I think that sometimes we as writers need to let go of our preconceptions of characters and think outside of the box. Yeah, sure, we think outside of the box a lot as it is, but outside of outside of the box maybe?

It helps my problems is the biggest reason for this unexpected change. It makes sense too. It changes some things with my other characters, namely Isaiah, who works as a special investigation person, and changes a lot, but I haven’t really written much to change. Only some fifty odd pages that I planned on discarding most of anyway. Still… it helps a lot. And imagine this: you’re reading my book and you just find out that the main character’s dad is actually a bad guy! (And just pretend you didn’t just read this whole post first.) It would most certainly  be unexpected, which is what I always go for.

building blocks for telepathy

In a book I plan to write in the near future, I plan to create one of the early forms of telepathy. So, however much I hate my physiology class, I’m learning some very valuable things from it that would apply to a well to any form telepathy and that I will share.

Since telepathy would be similar to a general sense, it is fair to say it would function as a special sense like our sense of hearing or vision would.  In order for that to happen, there are some basic structures of senses that are a part of every single sense.

First, we need a way to sense the actual stimulus. In my example, it will be the stimulus of another’s thoughts that are somehow detected.

Next, we need it to travel someway to a processing center.

We need a processing center.

And then if we were to have people to communicate telepathically, like I plan, we need a way to send the messages again.

NOw, I’m not a brain surgeon or anything here. I’m just taking a physiology course. But let’s just say for example that brain waves can actually be transmitted through air. A special sense in our brain would detect them and send the message via our nerves to a special processing area of our brain. Once in the special processing area, it decodes the message, say, your thoughts, and so that I can understand them like speech. Then, I send them back either the same basic way or a different way. If we are going to do it like speech, it would be a different location. Actually the speech center would probably have to be tied in just because.

Does this make any sense?

Now, I’ve read a few books that have telepathics in it and sometimes they can move things mentally. I’m not sure if this is a vital skill or not for my story. But after writing down this whole process, this second function would have to be something completely different.

This is also where I get stuck. Because I can logically understand the concept of our brain being able to have a special receiver that receives messages from other people’s heads. But how would something be moved without touching it?  Logically, I can’t even figure this out, excluding most science, because our brain merely exists like a giant, self forming computer. If I ever figure it out, I’ll tell you. Maybe i’ll just drop that part, but it removes some really awesome scenes from my story.

villains and antagonists

When I first began writing for real, I wrote a story called Hope.  Originally, in the story,  these aliens invaded earth, basically enslaved the people in the sense that they had to pay really high taxes and if they did anything wrong, they disappeared or are killed. Earth became very much of a farming community again with each community self supportive. Hope gets mixed up in a revolution between the humans and the aliens and much of it is about how that revolution starts and ends.

I posted this on an online writers group, because they said let’s post our current stories, and I got an interesting comment back. Don’t make the aliens faceless.

See, it’s really easy for aliens to walk around with much personality, evil little green creatures who are determined to bring down the doom and destruction of humans to Earth. But it is much better to know why the aliens function as they do. Why did they invade earth anyway and why do they think that they have the right to enslave humans?

Because of these comments, I created a character called Ka’yam. Ka’yam was one of the aliens who actually lived on EArth. For the reader, she was the eyes and ears of the other side, without using her to annoying build up the tension. She was awesome and  easily become one of my more favorite characters in the story.

This advice that I was given years ago has been my guideline for villains since then. When I began writing something that would involve the villain taking over the government, I needed a reason why he wanted to do it and what he hoped to accomplish. He wasn’t just after it for the power or would handle things like the evil overlord list; it had be something more.

I think that this is something that a new writer needs to keep in mind. It is easy to make the villains faceless but we have a much better story if we don’t slip into the easy place of not knowing our antagonist.

super bowl for writing

I don’t like football. However, my dad did and he sent me toe commerical for the green police.

Let’s look at this from a literary point of view. Currently, we have a lot of people who think that we need to be completely eco-friendly and all saving the planet and stuff. Why not put something like this in a story? I’m almost surprised I haven’t thought of this myself.

Maybe not to that extreme but you have a separate police squad for enforcement of green policies. Obviously, people who can travel “greenly” will get preference and better places and such. We could even go further and have special taxes for obeying the laws, such as the compost tax for throwing away biodegradable garbage and taxes for not compliance, such as the gas-car tax.

One thing I would like to point out as humorous however; the green police are using helicopters? Since when is that eco-friendly?  Also, if they have green police that badly, they would not sell those light bulbs or offer plastic bags. Lastly, that person who was reporting should have actually said something along the lines of that even the most innocent appearing citizen is actually a danger to the planet and we were victorious in arresting him so quickly.

That is the end of the writing part. I just have to make a few more comments just in case the audi makers are looking for commentary on the internet. That commercial made it actually sound good to have our lives invaded to the point that we cannot chose what to throw away or how to. Or that we can have people randomly going into our backyard and checking the temperature of our swimming pool. The green police is simply wrong in the very concept and it is sickening to think that some people probably even want that kind of enforcement. At least it’s good to know where some companies stand. I wonder how many customers you lost tonight because of that ad.