Elizabeth: Plot Tangles

Welcome to (unofficial) Plot week here at Eight Ladies Writing.  Jilly started things off on Sunday talking about plot preferences (I’m fond of an external mystery plot) and then Jeanne continued on Tuesday with plot peeves (the big-misunderstanding is my peeve).  Today we’re talking about what I think of, for lack of a better term, as plot tangles–cases where the author throws in everything including the kitchen sink.

A few weeks back I was talking with a Random-Guy-on-the-Internet about a book we had both read multiple times and enjoyed.  He had just finished a re-read of the book two days before and wanted to share some thoughts on the story.

Right off the bat a problem became obvious when he said “I can’t believe so-and-so was the murderer” (the story was a mystery).  The problem?  So-and-so was not the murderer.  A quick rifling through the book ensued and the correct culprit was identified, but the question remained:  How could someone forget who the murderer was in a book that they had just read?

The book was popular.

The book was interesting (after all, we’d both read it more than once).

The writing was strong.

So, what was the issue? Continue reading