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darkangel787

Plot Holes and Writing Flaws

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The old one got taken down and locked, so I thought I might remake it. The discussion was interesting before it got all...

 

...anyway, point out different mistakes that are in books...any books can do it!

 

...

 

I'll start with twilight.

 

Smeyer put an island off the west coast of Brazil.

 

Remember, that's left.

 

There IS no west coast of Brazil.

 

 

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As long as she hasn't tried to scientifically explain it I don't care. It's fantasy. Antartica could be a rain forest for all it matters. As long as she stays away from scientifically explaining it who cares. It can be however she wants.

 

 

Now her vampires, if you can call them that, is fail because she has tried, and failed, to explain them.

 

 

So the west coast, as she has not tried to explain it, is still viably explained with the 'it's a fantasy' excuse.

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So the west coast, as she has not tried to explain it, is still viably explained with the 'it's a fantasy' excuse.

No.

 

It doesn't matter if you're writing fantasy, plain fiction or science fiction; if you're writing it on Earth, it has to follow our rules. This book is set in our universe, on our Earth, and on our Earth there is no west coast of Brazil.

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Then there would be no Zombies, no Vampires, no Aliens, if it's following "our" rules.

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As stated on the last thread, the problem was not that she put an island off the west coast of Brazil. The problem was that they drove to the western edge of Rio, which is landlocked and has no harbor, then sailed due east (doubing back through the city?) out of a harbor which only opens to the south.

 

And yes, if you're setting something on Earth, you should obey the basic geography and physics of the planet. Even if it is 'fantasy.' Which Twilight is more an attempt at magical realism than actual fantasy.

 

She's got plenty of other problems as well though.

Like genetics. And conservation of mass. And heat transfer.

 

 

Anyway. Harry Potter. People can only see Thestrals if they've seen someone die. Harry is very surprised to see them pulling the carriages up to Hogwarts in the fifth book. But don't the students ride the 'horseless' carriages back down to the Hogwarts Express at the end of term? Wouldn't he have seen them then?

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Then there would be no Zombies, no Vampires, no Aliens, if it's following "our" rules.

Only for all we know, these vampires really do exist (probably without the failed science, though). There *could* be these vampires in our world right now, but there *can't* be a west coast of Brazil.

 

Also, the setting of the book is still Earth, plus vampires. Even when you add a fantasy element to our world, our world doesn't just get a west coast of Brazil all of a sudden.

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You do know what fantasy comes with right? All earthly rules are void in a fantasy. ALL of them. Goegraphy included. Africa could be bigger than Asia. It is fantasy so let it go.

 

 

"As stated on the last thread, the problem was not that she put an island off the west coast of Brazil. The problem was that they drove to the western edge of Rio, which is landlocked and has no harbor, then sailed due east(doubing back through the city?) out of a harbor which only opens to the south."

 

If THIS^ is true, and it probably is, THEN she has made a fail. But if it is just a west coast of Brazil then we can explain it by poping the 'it's a fantasy' excuse.

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You do know what fantasy comes with right? All earthly rules are void in a fantasy. ALL of them. Goegraphy included. Africa could be bigger than Asia. It is fantasy so let it go.

 

 

"As stated on the last thread, the problem was not that she put an island off the west coast of Brazil. The problem was that they drove to the western edge of Rio, which is landlocked and has no harbor, then sailed due east(doubing back through the city?) out of a harbor which only opens to the south."

 

If THIS^ is true, and it probably is, THEN she has made a fail. But if it is just a west coast of Brazil then we can explain it by poping the 'it's a fantasy' excuse.

I must admit; you're right. You *can* void it by saying "it's fantasy." But by saying that, you're making even more weirdness; this is a book about vampires, set in our world. So why does Brazil have a west coast? It's like saying "this book is about magic, set on Earth. With magic, people can do all kinds of things, like doing chores, fighting, or any other menial tasks. Also, Asia is an island!" It just doesn't make sense. Why is Asia an island? What does that have to do with anything?

 

Also, just because you can use that excuse, it doesn't make it right. Brazil having a west coast is obviously a mistake, so it's still a bad flaw.

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I must admit; you're right. You *can* void it by saying "it's fantasy." But by saying that, you're making even more weirdness; this is a book about vampires, set in our world. So why does Brazil have a west coast? It's like saying "this book is about magic, set on Earth. With magic, people can do all kinds of things, like doing chores, fighting, or any other menial tasks. Also, Asia is an island!" It just doesn't make sense. Why is Asia an island? What does that have to do with anything?

 

Also, just because you can use that excuse, it doesn't make it right. Brazil having a west coast is obviously a mistake, so it's still a bad flaw.

As far as I know Africa is not bigger than Asia so as an example, in a fantasy, Africa CAN BE bigger than Asia. It is only an example explaining that a fantasy can break any and all rules, even geographical.

 

 

Did she ever say this is set in a world that looks exactly as ours. I don't think so. And even so it can be explained with the moving of tectonic plates. Maybe this is an alternate reality where brazil having a west coast is possible. As far as I know she never said it was this dimension the book takes place and because it has vampires I say it doesn't really take place in our dimension.

 

'It's like saying "this book is about magic, set on Earth. With magic, people can do all kinds of things, like doing chores, fighting, or any other menial tasks.'

 

Umm you can say that... If your talking twilight than no but a book can and HAS been like that before.

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As far as I know Africa is not bigger than Asia so as an example, in a fantasy, Africa CAN BE bigger than Asia. It is only an example explaining that a fantasy can break any and all rules, even geographical.

 

 

Did she ever say this is set in a world that looks exactly as ours. I don't think so. And even so it can be explained with the moving of tectonic plates. Maybe this is an alternate reality where brazil having a west coast is possible. As far as I know she never said it was this dimension the book takes place and because it has vampires I say it doesn't really take place in our dimension.

 

'It's like saying "this book is about magic, set on Earth. With magic, people can do all kinds of things, like doing chores, fighting, or any other menial tasks.'

 

Umm you can say that... If your talking twilight than no but a book can and HAS been like that before.

I didn't completely understand your post, so I'm just going to try to make myself more clear: sure, Brazil can have a west coast in a fantasy novel, but when it has nothing to do with the book's focus it doesn't make sense. Like my quote; sure, you can have Asia as an island in a book about magic. But why? It has nothing to do with the plot, so why is it like this? It's bad writing to have pointless things for no reason.

 

There's a similar situation; in the end of Eldest, Eragon is looking at the sun rise over the ocean-the ocean, which is to the west. Sure, the sun could rise in the west in Eragon's world, but why? It has nothing to do with the plot, so it's completely pointless and thus is bad writing.

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Magic and plot holes go hand and hand. Personally I prefer fantasies either not set on earth, or with very minor/subtle magic. If you are going to set a fantasy on earth, it should be set on earth. The point of setting it on earth is that earth is the location so the geography of earth should be used. If someone doesn't want to have their book on earth they can make up a planet.

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If you use Earth, no matter if it is fantasy, you should follow Earth geography, at least basically or give a reason why it isn't like current day. Like if North America split in two because of a major earthquake. That is going to be a life-shaping event, likely it would be mentioned at least in passing. People are going to be confused if you suddenly start mentioning the two halves with no previous or future explanation.

 

And note, YES, in all technicality an author can do whatever he or she pleases, I am talking about what they SHOULD do to make a book make sense.

Edited by Nectaris

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Magic and plot holes go hand and hand. Personally I prefer fantasies either not set on earth, or with very minor/subtle magic. If you are going to set a fantasy on earth, it should be set on earth. The point of setting it on earth is that earth is the location so the geography of earth should be used. If someone doesn't want to have their book on earth they can make up a planet.

Pretty much this.

 

 

Anything can happen. Should is a different story but the fact that it CAN often ignores should.

 

 

So unless you get something like...

"As stated on the last thread, the problem was not that she put an island off the west coast of Brazil. The problem was that they drove to the western edge of Rio, which is landlocked and has no harbor, then sailed due east(doubing back through the city?) out of a harbor which only opens to the south."

Or the seeming fail is explained by fail-science *coughtwilightvampirescough* it can be explained accurately by 'it's a fantasy' excuse. Kinda stupid but better than fail-science.

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Magic and plot holes go hand and hand.

Not always. =/ You can have very strict rules about magic and have the book follow them to a t. In the book, there would be no plot holes. Plot holes are when things go against what's been stated. If someone said that all magic is blue, and the magic was blue in the story, that wouldn't be a plot hole. Saying that all magic is blue and benevolent and then making it red and dangerous would be a plot hole because it went against what was stated as canon.

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Anyway. Harry Potter. People can only see Thestrals if they've seen someone die. Harry is very surprised to see them pulling the carriages up to Hogwarts in the fifth book. But don't the students ride the 'horseless' carriages back down to the Hogwarts Express at the end of term? Wouldn't he have seen them then?

Harry hadn't accepted that Cedric was dead yet. Im pretty sure Rowling said that somewhere, I'll have to dig that up.

 

Edit: Here it is. It's really close to the bottom.

Edited by St. Jimmy

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Not always. =/ You can have very strict rules about magic and have the book follow them to a t. In the book, there would be no plot holes. Plot holes are when things go against what's been stated. If someone said that all magic is blue, and the magic was blue in the story, that wouldn't be a plot hole. Saying that all magic is blue and benevolent and then making it red and dangerous would be a plot hole because it went against what was stated as canon.

This is very true. I am currently writing a novel with magic. The thing is, writing it I have to be very careful. The rules I have laid down is that magic is rare and that each person has their own kind of magic. For each person with magic I have to lay down how the magic works. If you keep magic well controlled it can work. The thing is most plot holes involving magic are more complicated than blue and red magic. They are subtle things. For example, say that a magic character has teleported before, they are under attack and know they are about to be killed. Why do they not teleport away? Or in Harry Potter, why not just say accio philosopher's stone? Why not just say accio horcruxes? Why did they not use verta serum in trials at the ministry? These are all plot holes that have to do with not using magic that is been explain in situations were using that magic would make sense. Loop holes with magic are often very subtle little inconsistencies and they are hard to avoid when magic is very common. I also never said that magic= plot holes or that every aspect of magic in a book is a plot hole, I simply said that magic tend to create plot holes.

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Harry hadn't accepted that Cedric was dead yet. Im pretty sure Rowling said that somewhere, I'll have to dig that up.

 

Edit: Here it is. It's really close to the bottom.

Thanks. I'd been wondering about that.

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Why did they not use verta serum in trials at the ministry?

The way I understood it, the ministry wasn't just getting muggle-borns but also taking care of those they didn't like-so using vera teserum could backfire.

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The way I understood it, the ministry wasn't just getting muggle-borns but also taking care of those they didn't like-so using vera teserum could backfire.

This is true. I am talking about the ministry before Fudge was worried that Dumbledoor was taking over back when, to my knowledge, they were trying to conduct fair trials.

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oh, hi. <back from a long break>

 

Urm, about the Brazil thing-- what, so it's perfectly alright for her to use Earth as a map but break several rules and hack off Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Bolivia to make room?

 

I don't think Peruvians, Chileans, Ecuadorians, or Bolivians would be very happy.

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For example, say that a magic character has teleported before, they are under attack and know they are about to be killed. Why do they not teleport away? Or in Harry Potter, why not just say accio philosopher's stone? Why not just say accio horcruxes? Why did they not use verta serum in trials at the ministry? These are all plot holes that have to do with not using magic that is been explain in situations were using that magic would make sense.

I think they don't teleport away because of the risk of getting Splinched. Apparation requires a lot of concentration most of the time, and it's much harder to concentrate under stress.

 

Certain objects can't be summoned by using magic, because of certain spells. Horocruxes couldn't be summoned that way, and it's likely that Dumbledore enchanted the Stone so it couldn't be summoned like that as well.

 

And they might not have used the Truth potion in trials, because it's likely to be one of the potions that's extremely difficult to make, and takes a long time. The Ministry probably didn't use it except in dire circumstances, where there weren't many eyewitnesses or any evidence.

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*nods sagely at sapfirewolf's reply*

 

I mean, of the characters that are Harry's age, only Hermione (and that's a bit of a stretch) could teleport away under that much stress, only because she's a really good witch. other than that, well...pfft, that would result in a splinch.

 

And in tight situations like Malfoy Manor, the house was blocked from Apparating, amirite?

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Or in Harry Potter, why not just say accio philosopher's stone?  Why not just say accio horcruxes?

Objects can be made to resist a simple Summoning Charm. The Horcruxes could have been bewitched so they could not be summoned. Harry's Invisibility Cloak and the Sword of Gryffindor couldn't be summoned either, so it may just be that very powerfully magical objects aren't affected by summoning.

 

Why did they not use verta serum in trials at the ministry?

According to Rowling's site:

"Veritaserum works best upon the unsuspecting, the vulnerable and those insufficiently skilled (in one way or another) to protect themselves against it. Barty Crouch had been attacked before the potion was given to him and was still very groggy, otherwise he could have employed a range of measures against the Potion - he might have sealed his own throat and faked a declaration of innocence, transformed the Potion into something else before it touched his lips, or employed Occlumency against its effects. In other words, just like every other kind of magic within the books, Veritaserum is not infallible."

 

Veritaserum will also only reveal what the person believes is true. So long as they believed strongly enough that they were innocent, that is all the Veritaserum would be able to pull from them.

 

 

ETA:

About the Apparition -- it takes a lot of concentration under the best circumstances to Apparate properly. Under the stress of a life-or-death fight, it would be exceedingly difficult for even the best wizards to do it without Splinching. Hermione managed to Apparate under stress once, and it resulted in Ron losing a chunk of his arm.

At least the basement of Malfoy Manor was enchanted so that humans couldn't Apparate or Disapparate to or from it.

Edited by Stromboli

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I think they don't teleport away because of the risk of getting Splinched. Apparation requires a lot of concentration most of the time, and it's much harder to concentrate under stress.

 

Certain objects can't be summoned by using magic, because of certain spells. Horocruxes couldn't be summoned that way, and it's likely that Dumbledore enchanted the Stone so it couldn't be summoned like that as well.

 

And they might not have used the Truth potion in trials, because it's likely to be one of the potions that's extremely difficult to make, and takes a long time. The Ministry probably didn't use it except in dire circumstances, where there weren't many eyewitnesses or any evidence.

 

When I was referring to teleportation I wasn't referring specially to Harry Potter, more of a broad and generally scenario, but I will go with Harry Potter. It seems to me that most witches as wizards are fairly experienced at apparation, and wouldn't you rather risk getting splinched than be killed? If Dumbledoor's stone enchantments were so powerful why did three first years get through them? Clearly verta serum isn't so rare they can't use it before sending someone to Azkaban as they were using it on Hogwarts students in book five to rat out the D.A.

 

 

 

@Stromboli

Ok, so in certain cases accio does and doesn't work. This sounds fair enough.

 

As for the veritaserum, ok so she put that one her website, if she wanted to justify it, that should be in the books. Plot holes should be explained in the book or I will assume it was a plot hole and the author came up with a justification afterward, or they had it in their head but failed to convey their idea.

 

It is true, Ron did lose a chunk of his arm, but he lived didn't he? Also, Hermonie is bright and all, but she is a seventh year equivalent. If she could disapperate under pressure and only splinch the person that she brought with her I would think, say, Lilly Potter, could disaperate fairly safely with her son. As darkangel said, of magic folk Harry's age only Hermonie could teleport under stress. Harry is a teen/young adult. A rather experienced wizard, should be able to disaperate from a place where disaperation is possible under stress.

 

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I don't care about plot holes. When I pick up a book and start to read it, it's because the writing and plot is fascinating to me. For books like Twilight, Eragon, and Harry Potter, I didn't notice if something contradicted itself because I was following along with what was being said at the time. If I questioned something, then maybe I'd go back and try to figure out why it bothered me. If I can't find an answer... oh well, I don't care. If it doesn't ruin a story for me, then there isn't any point making a fuss about it.

 

In things I write I'm bound to have some contradictions. I don't think I could remember everything, especially if it was stretched over a few books. As long as I make them believable, I don't see the problem.

(I never caught the sailed west of Brazil. It never occurred to me that there was a geographical mistake; I took what was said for granted and went with it. What's happening is what is important, at least to me- not the technicalities of it.)

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