this plot is bananas!

 

I took myself on an artist date this weekend and saw a production Il Trovatore at the LA Opera. Now, operas are prone to melodrama, but Il Trovatore? That plot is bananas!

I had a terrific time at the opera, but it did get me thinking about plots with so many moving parts that even a program full of footnotes can’t begin to explain what’s going on. In opera, one can arguably get away with this. In fiction, not so much!

Some writers struggle to come up with plots in the first place (a little story structure expertise will fix that), but others have a tendency to over-engineer their plots until they resemble tottering Rube Goldberg machines, in which elaborate sequences of cause and effect are inserted to make one domino tip over the next. 

How do things get so complicated? Why is it hard to trust simplicity? That's our topic this week. 


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