eljaydaly: (Default)
I found myself using a classic stupid plot trick this morning.

Say I need my hero Jaz to discover that character Wallow is actually an enemy. Jaz will have to overhear something. Where? Somewhere private, where Wallow will be having a meeting. I need to get Jaz to the private place. How? I know: I'll have him sneak into Wallow's secret place "looking for information," and lo and behold, Wallow will be having the very conversation that Jaz needs to hear!

"Looking for information" should never result in the actual finding of the precise point of information required to advance the plot.

This is akin to requiring probable cause before a house can be legally searched.

Better: "Looking for something" inadvertently results in the finding of information regarding something else.
Better: Don't be "looking for something" at all, unless it's a very specific something and you intend to steal it.
Better: Find a different way to uncover the bad motives -- preferably something actually engineered by Jaz, or at least something that develops out of his very particular character quirks (which don't involve simply 'poking around for things').

Recent example: Lost: "The Lighthouse."

Cut for potential spoilery stuff )

Earlier examples: Pretty much any given scene in any Harry Potter book.

And why do I mention this today? Why, because the desire to use a fishing expedition to advance the plot is strong in this one!

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eljaydaly

April 2011

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