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Making plot armor less noticeable?

 
Nickie85
(@nickie85)
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Dor a story dealing with rollercoaster scenarios where you don't know what can happen, will someone die or get hurt, things of that nature... How do you keep readers from noticing the plot armor of the main characters who will otherwise be protected until the end of the story? I noticed this can be a complaint in book reviews. Readers will say things like "It was too obvious so and so wasn't going to die" or "I saw this happening to do and do from a mile away". How do you deflect this stuff? 

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Topic starter Posted : 10/12/2020 11:10 pm
Kazesenken
(@kazesenken)
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This is a difficult task even for seasoned writers. One - it depends on what you have experienced yourself in other media. And two - it requires your readers' perception of what is known in the genre it is written. It takes a lot of know-how (or maybe some really good luck) to avoid the pitfalls of plot armor.

I'm nowhere near an experienced writer, but knowing the general expectations of popular novels can help you avoid (or subvert) the most obvious of ones. Asking for other people who read similar stories of their opinion can help too.

What one can do to avoid obvious plot points is to write in a manner where things aren't obvious.

A character that is poorly described or lacks details is often a throw away some point soon.

Characters that are designed first (and are often written into the story earliest) are the most susceptible to plot armor, because they are, more than likely, key to your story. They are also the most likely to be paired in the end as a romance.

You can take these basic perceptions and turn them on their head. See what people think of them then. At the same time, you still might piss them off because now you've messed up their expectations. Everything is a gamble until it's written, so feedback will probably still be your best bet.

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Posted : 11/12/2020 1:54 am
Nickie85 liked
Junamo
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I think it would highly depend on the scenario, here are some that I have tried.

- Have another character sacrifice for the main character.

- Keep the main character a bit further from the danger (making it believable to escape)

- Power awakening (If your main character has some special power, might be a good chance for him to awaken it here)

- Introduction of new characters (May come to save your main character, forming an alliance etc)

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Posted : 11/12/2020 7:16 pm
Nickie85 liked
Nickie85
(@nickie85)
Member
Writer’s Assistant
Posted by: @kazesenken

This is a difficult task even for seasoned writers. One - it depends on what you have experienced yourself in other media. And two - it requires your readers' perception of what is known in the genre it is written. It takes a lot of know-how (or maybe some really good luck) to avoid the pitfalls of plot armor.

I'm nowhere near an experienced writer, but knowing the general expectations of popular novels can help you avoid (or subvert) the most obvious of ones. Asking for other people who read similar stories of their opinion can help too.

What one can do to avoid obvious plot points is to write in a manner where things aren't obvious.

A character that is poorly described or lacks details is often a throw away some point soon.

Characters that are designed first (and are often written into the story earliest) are the most susceptible to plot armor, because they are, more than likely, key to your story. They are also the most likely to be paired in the end as a romance.

You can take these basic perceptions and turn them on their head. See what people think of them then. At the same time, you still might piss them off because now you've messed up their expectations. Everything is a gamble until it's written, so feedback will probably still be your best bet.

Okay, so a good method of easily avoiding this is to make sure all the main characters, even the ones who will have something bad happen to them, and a good story and background?

Yeah, that is another thing I have considered. I don't want the reader to become invested in a character and have them be let down if something goes wrong with said character or they don't end up where they would like them to be.

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Topic starter Posted : 13/12/2020 2:32 pm
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