Plot holes – can’t live with ‘em…. They’re the bane of my life, and I suspect a lot of other writers too. I do the usual stupid things with plots – forgetting to tie up a loose end, neglecting to mention how someone travelled a long distance when they’ve no car, no money and a concussion, that sort of thing.
My own personal failing, however, seems to be giving multiple small characters the same name. In the same script. I have no idea why I keep doing this, but it leads to puzzled people asking, “Is this Tom on page 65 the same Tom that we had on page 15?” And if so, why is he flirting with Kate when he’s 85 and she’s 21? Oops.
I watched Hot Tub Time Machine on Saturday night, which is absolutely peppered with potential and actual plot holes. This is kind of the nature of time travel films, and I’m prepared to give them some leeway in terms of people not remembering 20 years of their lives once they travel back etc. But this one had a doozy – a 20 year old character who’s supposed to have been born in the year they go back to - 1986. But they travel from and back to 2010. Which would make him 24 in the present day! I can’t figure out a. how no one noticed this during production and b. if they did, why they didn’t just fix it by having them travel from 2006, which would have solved the problem. Maybe I’m just getting more and more anal….
The only surefire way to find these problems: get loads of people to read your script. Then read it BACKWARDS yourself. You’ll notice loads of spelling mistakes as well. Better to do it now before your plot holes cause endless rows on the IMDB chatboards…