Wandering around in blogville the other day, I ran across a post by an aspiring screenwriter discussing plot holes. Now, I can't say for 100% sure exactly what a plot hole is but I am pretty sure I know what it isn't. A plot hole ISN'T an unanswered question. That would make it a plot question instead of a hole, don'tcha think?
Wait. Side street. Here's something you don't read every day. "Three penguins were killed by oncoming traffic; one died in the crash when a truck spilled about two dozen penguins, tropical fish and an octopus onto an east Texas highway near Marshall."
Sometimes, I genuinely worry about these meds they give me for tooth aches.
Okay, where was I?
Oh yes, so, ever the screenwriting sleuth, I called my mother -- who told me that at four o'clock in the morning, she was only qualified to discuss sex, hot flashes, breast implants and lyposuction. Who else is a gal supposed to turn to with a complicated question? Couldn't find a Howie Schwabb hotline so I went to Wikepedia which says that:
"A plot hole is a gap in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic set-up by the plot or that undermines the basic premises of the story."
I know. I know. I need to see what my screenwriting books and screenwriting buddies say about it. But before I made it to the trunk of books in the garage, I began to wonder if the term "plot hole" was a derivitive of "wormhole" which, in science fiction, is used to bridge the gap between two areas of space or time.
Sounded plausible enough. But, who to ask?
I called my mother back. You know, I don't think she was thrilled to hear from me and she didn't believe me about the penguins either. However, she did give me some information about Schwarzschild wormholes, Einstein-Rosen bridges and some kind of wormhole metric theory that I couldn't quite follow because, come on, it was four o' clock in the morning!
Point. I always have one. It's occassionally vague and sometimes involves Smurfs and an ostrich named Curtis who sticks his head in my car window to change the radio station, but I do always have a point. The point here is that I need to delve deeper into this plot hole issue because it seems to me that the omission of back story or explanation isn't a plot hole unless it causes, you know, a hole! -- something illogical, irreconcilable or contradictory.
Couldn't a deliberately unanswered question sometimes be clever manipulation used to ignite the viewer's imagination instead of orchestrating it?
Hey. Good news. The octopus survived.
Crash of the Penguins - and you thought I was hallucinating.