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ErikModi's Avatar

02.12.2012 , 01:14 AM | #12
Thing is, almost all the plot holes people ***** about in all the movies can be rectified simply by aiming a little brainpower at them. Instead of saying "oh my God, he didn't take twenty minutes to hold my hand through a bunch of boring exposition to explain exactly what's going on," take the data he did give you and draw some conclusions.

It's a disturbing trend I've noticed in a lot of (mostly bad) modern storytelling. The writers seem to think (and sadly, they seem to be right, for the most part) that their audiences are drooling idiots who need every single step of the story spelled out for them in brutal clarity with pie charts and graphs and tables and step-by-step instructions, and a bouncing ball over the subtitle would help, if people could be bothered to expend the effort to read. Instead of engaging the audience and making US think about why things happened, who did what, what someone's motivation was, and all those things that add complexity and interest to a story, they feel the need to not only make everything glaringly obvious, but point out that they're making it glaringly obvious just in case you missed and LOOK OVER HERE THIS IS IMPORTANT YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW THIS FOR LATER BUT WE'LL BRING IT BACK UP THEN ANYWAY JUST IN CASE YOU FORGET BETWEEN NOW AND. . . NOW!

Sorry, I think I was channeling Yahtzee there for a moment.

Now, that's not to say that "there's no such thing as a plot hole." There certainly is, and I've seen some glaring ones. But there's a HUGE difference between "plot hole" and "audience-input mystery." Good - nay, great storytellers know how and when to leave things mysterious. Do we need to know where the Alien came from for it to be scary? Hardly. Do we enjoy Lyta Alexander's journey any less because Babylon 5 doesn't tell us exactly how her war against the Psi Corps. turns out? I didn't. For that matter, do we need to know where Justin came from? Such mysteries can deepen a connection to a story, make it feel more real (after all, in real life, how often to do all your questions get answered?), and sometimes even spin off completely new and exciting stories.

Now, here I'm going to say something that will get a WHOLE lot of nerd-rage directed at me. The opposite can also happen, where a storyteller so obsessively fills in every perceived plot that he buries his work under tons of useless and boring information. The greatest offender here, (braces himself) is JRR Tolkien. Recall in Fellowship of the Ring, the. . . what was it? FOUR AND A HALF some pages of exposition, history, culture, etc., etc., etc. of a town that pretty much only exists in the story to have Frodo meet Aragorn and then leave? NONE of that information was at all important to the plot, none of it became important later, and it was all completely irrelevant to the story at hand. And Tolkien does this ALL THE TIME.

Now, I won't deny that all the Star Wars films have plot holes. Some of them can't really be easily ironed out with a little mental exercise. But there are a lot of things in the movies that really do make sense if you spend the time to ponder them a little bit. As a writer, that's what I want. . . I want you to think about my story after you're done reading it, work your brain some understanding what I was doing, and how, and why. The BEST stories I've ever experienced have surprised me with new insights years, even decades after I first read/saw/heard/wrote them, new things falling into place and making me appreciate them that much more.
Jedi vs. Sith, Page 97, column 2, paragraph 4, line 1:

Prior to the Battle of Ruusan, the Jedi used crystals from many different sources, and ignited lightsabers in every known hue, including purple, orange, and gold.