[PREV - RULE_OF_REVERSALS] [TOP]
August 9, 2003
This is The Rule: you
are allowed one single
unlikely coincidence, ARISTOTLE_BEGINS
and it will be
presented near the For Aristotle, this is the *definition* of a
beginning of the story. beginning: "A beginning is that which does not
It then functions as itself follow anything by causal necessity, but
the premise, and the after which something naturally is or comes to be."
rest of the narrative
will be a logical, if
not predictable, flow
from that beginning. The doctrine of The Twist:
suprises are supposed to seem
inevitable in retrospect, but A beginner's error:
only in retrospect. believing that doing
Exceptions exist: the unexpected will
impress with novelty.
The "it can always get THE_TWIST
worse" exception: Going for surprise by
breaking a "rule"
Chance is allowed to do rarely works-- we
harm, but never benefit. complain about
You can run from the bad cliches often, but
guys into an avalanche, This exception can be must beware the
but you can not have an abused: benefit can be hidden functions of
avalanche fortuitously disguised as tragedy. common elements.
wipe out the bad guys
leaving you untouched. Note the short life- AND_JUDY
expectancy of girl-friends
Lightning may strike, but of action-adventure heroes.
it must not strike the
The irony exception:
The monster can turn on
the creator, and destroy
The invincible aliens can be
wiped out by lowly bacteria.
James Bond can be rescued from
torture at the last minute, (That's the Fleming
but only by a SMERSH assassin Bond, not the Connery.)
sent to eliminate the faction
which happens to be torturing
As with all rules,
the question might
be raised, "why?"
Some possible starting points:
fiction has to
"live up to
Fiction is not the
opposite of truth,
and not a synonym
The primal rule (as stated by
Kenneth Robeson): the hero DOC_SAVAGE
must extricate himself by his
The rule against coincidences may
just be an application of this.
And the first exception is
really that all rules can be
broken at the outset of the
story as part of the premise.
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