Plot is defined as the sequence of events where each affects the next one through the principle of cause and effect. It’s a fancy way of saying, this happened, which caused that to happen. Think of plot as your story’s compass, taking you to your story’s North Star.
The North Star is the event, result, moral, or overarching idea you want to convey. How you get there has to do with the plot. Some stories, as far as the plot itself, will come to you fairly intact. Others will be very flexible, and fluid, which changes as you write. However, you may still know where you want to end up.
The thing to keep in mind is, to tie all the plot points together by the end. Loose threads aren’t good for your favorite sweater, or your favorite story. They are unfortunately easy to create.
While they can’t always be avoided, they can be limited. One way, is to keep a general idea of your plot in your mind. Later, reviewing your story will be a vital tool, but that will come in editing. What you can do now, is to keep your character’s behavior consistent as you write.
Doing this will help to prevent plot holes, and will make them a little easier to find. That’s not to say the characters can’t experience growth and change, but they should be follow-able changes and growth. Plot, character development, and pacing your writing will help you to navigate the pitfalls of writing.