An Accounting of the Plot Holes in Ashland

  1. I mention the house was built by shipbuilders and how excited the narrator is to get into the bones of the house to see if she can tell. She never looks.
  2. I have multiple minor characters with names who appear in just one or two scenes. One of my main characters does not have a first name.
  3. I changed the Mississippi house’s name midway through the book.
  4. I forgot Thursday. I write about all the things that happen on Wednesday then I say “the next day” and it’s Friday. I like Thursdays!
  5. The ghost hunters record audio. The reader never gets to hear what was on it.
  6. In one place, I say a guy had three dead kids. Later, I appeared to give him nearly a million dead children. Which is remarkable, because his wife died during the third kid’s birth.
  7. The bad guy is so creepy that one of the main characters forbids her kids to go to his house. At the end of the book, without comment, the kid is in the house again.
  8. A guy has some siblings in Bowling Green. Later, the guy has no siblings.
  9. And this is the biggest one–Suddenly, everyone knows that the bad guy has a certain constraint. But I never explain how they come to know that.
  10. The narrator gets an important clue from the hymn “Softly and Tenderly” but both of the people who could have left the clue died before the hymn was written.

Also, much like Isaac Franklin, my bad guy was shipped back home for burial in a barrel of whiskey. In modern times, the main characters spend an evening drinking whiskey. I think I’ve created an accidental Chekov’s gun. I mentioned a barrel of whiskey in the past and now, here’s a shit-ton of whiskey–the bottle in the house and the bottles kept stored in the old stable. There is no other conclusion for the reader to draw than that this is the same whiskey. I didn’t intend it that way. But it’s so hilarious and disgusting that I’m totally leaving that as the obvious conclusion to be drawn. Keep chugging on down “Grandpa’s Preserve” folks. Keep chugging on down.

I have some stuff I need to add and, obviously, some plot holes to fix. I feel like it’s a mess of cliched ridiculousness and I hate it, but that’s this stage. I’ll feel better once I like the ending better. It’s not very long, just over 71,000 words, but I imagine it will end up a little longer. I think that’s okay, though. You start to get too long and questions creep in–like why didn’t your main character just go home?

But it has a shape, and that counts for a lot.