When you make something up…

A plot element that could be killed by common sense is a bad plot element. Consider the following in a movie I glimpsed: pompous rich girl on her way to Baguio, driven by a chauffeur in a brand new Nissan Xtrail. The car broke down in mid-trip – a plot element intended to cross the rich girl’s path with the leading man of the story. The driver said the car broke down because of a ruptured fuel line.

What is wrong with this picture? It’s a brand new car. Fuel lines, oil conduits or water hoses don’t just rupture in brand new cars, especially in luxury models like the Xterra (with leather seats to boot). The only way for this to have happened is if the part is defective coming out of the dealer – in which case the damage would have manifested way before the point of it being even considered for use in a trip to Baguio; or someone intentionally sliced it – a major plot element in itself which should have been shown to the audience.

Problem: the writer didn’t think this plot element out, maybe because he/she is too focused on the scene where the girl and her leading man would meet as a result of her needing to take public transport. Either the writer forgot, or worse, didn’t know from the start (in which case the person has no business writing stories) that fiction writing falls under the category of creative writing because he/she needs to be creative, to at least avoid sudden and unpleasant show-stoppers on the audience’s suspension of disbelief. The writer would have done much better if he wrote, for example, a jeepney clipping the Xtrail’s fender (which happens quite a lot). But no. “Paano sila magkakakilala? Ah, masisiraan siya ng kotse.” To hell with believability.

A story’s main power has been and will always be in its believability. You take that away, you’re left feeling robbed with a contrived story that accomplishes nothing but insult your intelligence.

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quistian

An incorrigible Gen-X cynic who writes too damn much