Tags:
  1. Anonym
    Offline

    Anonym Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    10

    Plot question

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Anonym, Feb 22, 2010.

    Does anyone know of any stories/movies/ect where the protagonists basically destroy their best chance of success, forcing them to prevail on their own?
    Basically.

    I'm try to avoid obvious cliches as much as possible. i know there are such stories, i just can't think of any. any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Neoaptt
    Offline

    Neoaptt Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Utah
    Resident Evil #1.

    Zombies might be cliche but I think it works.

    Oh, and also lord of the rings, when gandolf fights the balrog. "You shall not Pass"
     
  3. Anonym
    Offline

    Anonym Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    10
    The game or the movie?

    Zombies aren't always cliche, but they're definitely off limits in any recognizable form for my current project.

    Again: I'm looking for books/movies/ect where the main characters unknowingly destroy the secret weapon, kill the only person who knows something and such, but ultimately succeed w/o the deus ex machina.
    im embarrassed that none such work comes to mind, but w/ all the great minds in this literary brain trust, i thought it would be easy to come up w/ examples.
     
  4. Neoaptt
    Offline

    Neoaptt Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Utah
    I know so many. Almost. But non that actually mess up. I think that is part of being the hero....
     
  5. Anonym
    Offline

    Anonym Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    10
    Huh, i think you might have misunderstood me a little..? that, or i am you now

    i meant to say, they destroy the easy solution, forcing them to 'win' the hard way, pretty much. and for me personally, if any of my characters ever ended up appearing heroic, id feel that i had failed the stylistic ideal i aim for. messing up is a vehicle of humanization that ive employed more than once w/o regret, so that's no concern.

    i just don't want to end up mirroring something in some book/movie.
     
  6. Neoaptt
    Offline

    Neoaptt Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Utah
    Have you played the first halo. Last level the "Maw"
     
  7. HeinleinFan
    Offline

    HeinleinFan Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    483
    Likes Received:
    33
    Hmm. Okay, I have three lists -- one where the heroes screw up the easy solution, one where the heroes take a reasonable situation and completely firk it up so it explodes on them, and one where the heroes are misinformed.

    They Screw Up the Easy Solution
    Holes. "I can just drive a water tank out into the desert to save my friend!" Yeah, right.
    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Seriously, Edmund failed here.
    The Silver Chair, also by C.S. Lewis.
    In the movie "Lost World: Jurassic Park," something like this happens.
    The heroes do this in "Legacy of Heorot." "We shall banish the great hero because he is old and useless and paranoid." One creepy scene involves a hero being sedated and tied up (they think he's crazy). He wakes up just as one of them crawls in the window.

    They Firk Up a Simple Situation
    A Song of Ice and Fire is full of this. Start with "A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin
    The "bad guys" do this regarding a murder in "Best Served Cold" by Joe Abercrombie

    The Heroes are Misinformed
    The First Law trilogy, by Joe Abercrombie. "Special artifact will save the day!" Start with "The Blade Itself"
    To some extent, the "Rai Kirah" trilogy. "Demons are nasty and evil!" Start with "Transformation" by Carol Berg.

    Honestly, though, good writing will placate readers even if your loose plot is roughly similar to some other work.
     
  8. pinelopikappa
    Offline

    pinelopikappa Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Hellas
    Achilles goes ahead and kills Hector, in spite the fact he knows that this action will be his downfall. Somehow all that saves the day for everyone else!

    Oedipus and his entire story, making one stupid mistake after another (read the play if you haven't, it's a university of knowledge). But no happy ending here...
     
  9. Anonym
    Offline

    Anonym Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    10
    Okay, cool. This is what i was looking for. Now i've got somewhere to start and reaffirmation of the more obvious examples. Thanks all :)
     
  10. Anders Backlund
    Offline

    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Land of Lagom
    ...Have you considered that the mere fact that you can't think of any actual examples in and of itself suggests that it's not a cliché, let alone an obvious one?
     
  11. LordKyleOfEarth
    Offline

    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,249
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX. USA
    Illiad and Odyssey. Both fit your format and the story only exists because of it.

    Possibly also: The Hangover, The Transporter, Role models.
     
  12. Anonym
    Offline

    Anonym Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    10
    It's more the conveneint ease w/ which the idea came to me that suggests that - like everything - it's been done before. Too many times have i thought i had a relatively original premise only to see it exemplified in some crappy tv show later that week. I'm being cautious, whether the mechanism is all that overdone or not. Altho, yeah, i guess it isn't as worn a concept as i thought.

    That said, me not being able think of an example doesn't suprise me or say all that much really. it's a pretty common occurance unfortunately. that's why i started this thread.

    Great examples. Thanks again everybody.
     
  13. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Never mind whether it has been done before. Whatever storyline you come up with, it has almost certainly been done before.

    Just concern yourself with writing it well.
     
  14. Anonym
    Offline

    Anonym Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    10
    Maybe not every aspect the storyline or plot itself, but yeah, most concievable literary mechanisms, vehicles, ruses, themes, ect have likely been done. Absolutely true. But even then, it can only help to make an effort to be innovative, if at all possible, IMO.

    Thanks for your curt but salient contribution. :)
     
  15. Anders Backlund
    Offline

    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Land of Lagom
    Originality is nice, just don't make the mistake of thinking you have to re-invent the wheel everytime you write something. That will eventually drive you insane and we lose too many promising writers that way.

    Anyway, a cliché isn't just something that has been done before: it suggests such common and standardized usage that resorting to it is percieved as a form of lazyness on part of the writer.

    Not to mention: "Hero messes up his best chances" is a bit too vague to call anyway. It comes down to how he does it and why.

    See also: Tropes, which are what clichés are before they go bad.
     
  16. Anonym
    Offline

    Anonym Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    10
    Operational definitions aren't my strong suit, admittedly, but I think my intended meaning was understood despite, given the spot on contributions ive gotten so far. But yea, ill check my connotations a bit more next time. Thanks for reaffirming the term's meaing for me :)
     

Share This Page