What I’ve Wanted to Talk About Lately #1 – Unexplained Plot Devices

This is going to be the first of many short posts that I’m going to do on things I’ve been thinking about when it comes to fiction whether it be anime, film, books or visual novels.

Firstly: Unexplained Plot Devices
In fiction, whether it be fantasy, science fiction or Anime_79d3fa_1924172even horror, there are a few rules that allow exceptions when it comes to explaining certain plot tools. These exceptions can be small like simple MacGuffins or even major plot tools like magic, accepted only because of the fantasy context they are set in. For instance in Science fiction there is ‘Clarke’s Third Law’, where famous science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke made the distinction that ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ This made it so, say in the well known Scifi series like Dune, Spice is used for interstellar travel and seeing into the future without fully explaining how. The same goes for certain curses in horror whereby reality is shoved aside for the scary
effects of something like the dead coming back to life.

There are many of these plot elements in many stories. But it’s the context in which they are portrayed that determines whether they are effective or not.

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