Deus Ex Machina

Coincidences that get characters into trouble are great. Coincidences that get them out is cheating. It’s the deus ex machina of the fiction world.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Deus ex machina is, almost literally, the ‘machine of the gods.’ It a device used by opera composers of old when they wrote their characters into a corner and couldn’t figure out how to get them out. They simply decided that the gods had been watching all along and had them drop down to Earth long enough to solve everything. It’s a device that’s phony in operas and it’s phony in fiction.

Today I see deus ex machina used most frequently in paranormal stories that have one or two paranormal characters for most of the book. Then, as the climax approaches, suddenly all kinds of other paranormal characters come out of the woodwork and form an army and vanquish evil. Good wins, of course, but even before the battle begins I’ve lost interest.

So whether it’s in opera, paranormal fiction or any story at all, or whenever you’re tempted to use it yourself because it would make things easier, there’s only one thing to say about deus ex machina. Don’t do it!

2 thoughts on “Deus Ex Machina

  1. I see a lot of interesting posts on your page. You have to
    spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of work, there is a tool
    that creates unique, SEO friendly posts in couple of minutes,
    just type in google – k2 unlimited content

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s