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Overused But Effective Plot Tricks
Hans Ness, Jan 13, 2024
Call them tropes, plot devices, plot holes, or lazy cliched hacks, whatever. They are used an awful lot, partly out of laziness, but mostly because they are in fact effective at creating tension and keeping the plot moving without boring logistics. Frankly, I’m surprised at how tolerant audiences are — myself included. I guess it’s like cookie doe — it’s okay to eat a little, but not too much or you’ll puke everywhere.

This is just a partial/growing list. They apply mostly to screenwriting.

Inept Action

Clumsy Communication

Omniscient Heist

One Plan Only

Fickle Friends

Dramatic Visuals

Defying Physics

Pet Peeves

Maybe this is only me.


Yes, I know real science would be way less dramatic, but let me whine.