One of my favorite television series is Grimm, which ended several years ago. I bet you didn’t see that coming, right? I mean, I did write an entire series of twisted fairy tale adaptations, and I’m fighting the urge to do it again!
One of the reasons I loved the series so much was the amazing character development. There were morally gray characters all over—the villains became good guys, good guys walked on the dark side, and sometimes they fell right into that deep, sucking hole of evil gooiness.
The inventiveness of the creatures was always fun, and the evolution of relationships was A-plus… but there was that one thing. It still bothers me to this day, like many other Grimmsters. That glaring, oh-so-frustrating plot hole (there were a few, but this one… grr… this one frustrated me so…)
The Black Claw—an underground organization of Wesen who wanted to (gasp) take over the world and control humans. They were evil, stole little children, kidnapped women, killed humans… they were the be-all and end-all big bad guy of the latter half of the show, and then… they were gone.
They just disappeared. It was like the writers didn’t know how to end that arc, so they… didn’t. A new big bad came to town, overshadowing the Black Claw. In a random, devil-may-care way, one of the good turned bad turned good again characters simply said something akin to… “Eh, they’re done,” then when back to fighting alongside the good guys again.
And no one batted an eye. No one asked a single follow-up question, none that offered any closure, anyway. There was just… no end. No resolution. Nothing! (It still bugs me.)
But if I’m honest, I’m probably guilty of the same. It’s one of the complex parts of writing—how to create a complete, well-rounded arc with a satisfying end. There are lots of ways writers ensure they fulfill this promise—even us pantsers (I prefer Discovery Writer) have some process to close our plot holes. Sometimes it happens over a series, like my own Grimm series. Each book has some conclusion for its characters, but the main arc takes seven full books to complete. Did I leave some holes? Maybe? I haven’t seen any, but I do know my characters evolved over the series. Some characteristics faded while others grew. Some friendships waned while others flourished. But I know I didn’t leave that glaring, teeth-gritting MAIN plot wide open like the Grand Canyon. (Takes a deep breath and re-centers…)
I suppose I’ll get over the Grimm plot hole, especially since my Nick and (spoiler) ship did finally sail, but I hope I never frustrate my loyal readers so well with any of my books—at least, not for the long haul. I am sure I will do it many, many times with each book, but I promise I will do my best to never leave you with a Black Claw.