Logic is just like bone… well, sort of.

One of the problems with regularly watching critics trying to make you laugh such as Linkara or Nostalgia Critic is that you gain a very keen eye for breaks in logic. Now, you may ask why this is a problem. After all, if something in the story doesn’t make sense, it can bring the reader out of the experience. If you find such a break, it should be modified a bit so that the event does make some sense, and the reader can move on. And to an extent, this is true.

The problem is that sometimes logic breaks are necessary for a story. There are a ton of examples in almost every genre out there, but since I’m trying to illustrate a point, let’s look at the James Bond series. How many times has Bond been caught and completely at the villain’s mercy? And how many times has he been left alone for the sharks to eat him or for a laser to slice him in two or something ridiculous like that? And how many times could the villain have just shot Bond in the head and been done with it? Of course, we all know that this is the case because Bond is the main character and has to live, so we ignore it and put up with it. After all, it gives us a tense(ish?) sequence where Bond has to find his way out of the trap, foil the villain’s plots and make sexual innuendo with women that really would be young enough to be his grandaughter if it’s the same Bond every single movie.

Now, there are logic breaks like that in every story out there, especially if you only look at that single story as presented. For example, I friggen LOVE the original Star Wars trilogy (and liked Phantom Menace, if only because it still managed to be entertaining). Here’s a rather famous example of such a logic break: the reason the Death Star didn’t just blow up the Yavin gas giant to get at the Rebel base isn’t really explained in the actual movie. I mean, not only do you get the gas giant out of the way for a clear shot, it’s likely that the moon you just blew up will be thrown out of orbit, which will kill anyone on the planet.

(The actual reason is that the death star needed to charge for… i think a full hour? it was measured in hours, i know that… per shot).

The giant robots that are physically impossible, the shot doesn’t kill but leaves you in that near-death-but-somehow-still-alive state, the music that someone starts on-screen that stays clear no matter where on the planet they go… stories are full of breaks in logic like that.

That’s why story logic is just like bone: it’s meant to take hits, to bend and bruise. So long as one’s suspension of disbelief doesn’t break like a compound fracture, there’s nothing wrong with a few hits.

This entry was posted in Writing.

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