Monday, August 03, 2009

You betrayed me so I'm going to have your baby in a flash back

I watched this new series tonight – “Defying Gravity”, the entire 2 hours. I won’t be doing it again next week. The episode was boring (why did I sit through the entire thing???) and confusing. It kept going back and forth in back flashes – to the point where I was saying “Get on with it already!!” It reminded me of my old WIP “The Devil You Know” which was full of back flashes and made me realize just how confusing that can be. It’s a plot device that is used often, but the author must be careful to not over use it to the point that the reader says “Get on with it already”, or worse yet, just put the book down. If I hadn’t been so lazy, that’s what I would have done with this series. A back flash starting a story off, for example, can be effective. Or little snatches here and there as a character comes to turn with something, like amnesia brought on by the shock of a crime, can work too – as long as they are short snippets and kept to a small number. In this TV series the flash backs were entire scenes, or worse yet, interspersed within one scene so often that you lost track of where you were, who was who – especially with the men. The women were easy to keep track of in this back and forth storytelling as their hairstyles changed, but the men were more difficult to follow.

Anyway, that’s one plot device that can be annoying. Others that I’m not fond of?

Lovers that break up because of a misunderstanding or lack of communication and then get back together, with one seeking revenge and the other not really knowing what is going on, or endlessly apologizing, etc. etc. etc. You know what I mean. You’re sitting there reading it and going “you idiot, if you had just asked him in the first place instead of listening to the ex-girlfriend …..” Why don’t characters talk????

Secret babies. ‘Nuff said

Leaving the group of people to explore the house alone after 15 gadzillion people have been slashed to death …. Yeah, I had to throw that one in.

The ex-girl/boyfriend betrayed me so ALL men/women are the same …..

There’s more, but now it’s your turn. What plot device, whether in movies/TV/books, really annoys you?


Brandy said...

I'm not fond of the kidnap plot where the hero rescue the heroine. Why is it never the other way around? LIke you I don't like the secret baby plot, nor the going after an ex for revenge.

Susan said...

I'm not awfully picky as long as it is well written and acted. Lots of flashbacks do get on my nerves.

catslady said...

Romantic suspense or mysteries that totally cheat at the end - the killer comes out of no where. The last one I read that I could have thrown against a wall is they changed the voice from a man to a woman - give me a break.

Lexi said...

LOL! Your pet peeves are mine as well!

Bebo said...

Too much of the characters telling what is going on instead of just getting on with it. (and to think I used to love Mickey Spillane)
Secret babies. 'nuff said.
The woman as victim. Unless she turns it around & wins & she's gotta start fighting back in the first 3 chapts or it's flung against the wall.