1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    What's so bad about a plot being "convoluted" as people say?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ryan Elder, Dec 30, 2015.

    A lot of times I have notices is when I share plot ideas or synopses with other readers or writers, they will say that it comes off as too convoluted. Just to be sure I didn't misjudge the defitinition of the word, convoluted according to the dictionary means 'complicated', or 'intricately involved'

    However, I am wondering why exactly that is a bad thing. A lot of my favorite stories in the thriller genre, are convoluted, because naturally if a crime or disaster happens, a dozen consequences will result out of it, each with their own twists and turns, and that's what makes the plot.

    So I am wondering why the term convoluted has gotten a bad connotation it seems. What's so bad about convolution, since consequences create domino effects and all? Plus the reader is smart enough to be able to figure out complicated plots, so I am wondering why it's such a bad thing?
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, your critiquers aren't saying it's "convoluted"; they're saying it's "too convoluted". There's a difference, there.

    I'm going to guess it means the twists and turns aren't clear to them, or they're finding it confusing. But if all you're sharing is a plot idea, it's pretty hard for anyone to know how well you're going to execute the plot.

    If you can make things clear to your readers, I think convoluted is good. If readers get confused, I think you're too convoluted.
     
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  3. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    It's not bad if you have everything make sense.

    You overestimate the reader. :p
     
  4. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I keep being told by writers not to spoonfeed the reader, and therefore I try to not over explain things, but perhaps I do it too much and I need to explain to the reader more of what's going on. But if you are writing a mystery story where you actually want the reader to think 'WTF is going on?" for a good portion, of it, then how can you do that and still give the reader confidence that everything will make sense once it's all revealed later?

    Also as far as things being too convoluted how can this be avoided? Like for example, if a certain plot twist happens and dozens of other plot turns and consequences come out of that, I can only simplify things so much before the reader starts to question why certain consequences did not come out of a plot turn, when naturally they would. So I am wondering how to avoid too convoluted.
     

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