Thursday, 11 February 2010

32 - Holes

I've mentioned before that I have a fondness of stories that are brave enough to leave certain things unresolved and unrevealed. Stories that don't tie up all their loose ends. Stories that keep an air of mysticism about them. Stories that favour pacing over exposition.

Of course all this has to be done on purpose, and done right, otherwise you're left with a frustrating gaping mess. All too often a glaring plot hole can ruin a story. But I think a story filled with plot holes is frequently preferable to one that tries to account for everything.

Gaping plot holes are better than:

Stories that stop to dump a shitload of information on you every few scenes.1

Stories that continue for an age after they should have concluded, in order to tie everything up to perfection.2

Stories that take too long to find momentum due to the fact that they explain everything you encounter in excessive detail.3

Okay, I hate stories with paper-thin plots that have been dragged out to breaking point.4 I hate stories that leave a crucial point unresolved to either make a point or simply annoy you.5 But I'd still take either of these in favour of a story that treats me like I'm some kind of forensic reader demanding an explanation for every single detail.

1 - See Ringworld
2 - See Metal gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
3 - See Kushiel's Dart
4 - See Windtalkers
5 - See Broken Flowers

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