Friday, May 2, 2008

Laws of Plot

On examination, I'm inclined to believe these are true.

· Watt-Evans' Law of Literary Creation: There is no idea so stupid or hackneyed that a sufficiently talented writer can't get a good story out of it.

· Feist's Corollary: There is no idea so brilliant or original that a sufficiently untalented writer can't screw it up.

· Morrison's Corollary: There is no idea that a sufficiently talented writer has made into a good story that can't become annoying in the sequels.

· Holliday's Corollary: There is no plot so stunningly original that a reviewer can't make it sound hackneyed.

6 comments:

David Thayer said...

Then there is an adaptation of Moore's Law that the density of prose can be doubled until all those other laws kick in. With enough mass the manuscript can reenter earth's atmosphere whether we want it too or not.

Jen Ster said...

And let's not forget Jen's First Rule Of Writing Anything: A CONCEPT IS NOT A STORY. A CONCEPT IS NOT A STORY. A CONCEPT IS NOT A STORY. Y'all hear me, scriptwriters of "Lost"?

Tim Stretton said...

So true, David...

David Isaak said...

Hi, David--

If they accumulate enough mass, they can become black holes, or wrose (even diet books!)

David Isaak said...

"A CONCEPT IS NOT A STORY."

True enough, Jen. But it's easier to pitch a concept when you end up at a urinal adjacent to a TV executive.

Yes, all those presumed perverts who hang out in the men's room are actually desperate writers. (That foot-tapping incident with Senator Larry Craig? He thought an HBO exec was in the neighboring stall. No, really.)

And though this gives men an advantage in Hollywood, it is offset in the book world by the fact the majority of literary agents are women. So us guys can't corner them without someone calling security.

Sam Taylor said...

Hah. I hadn't seen those before. Brilliant :)

...Now here's hoping I'm not the untalented writer...