Base your plot on unsupported assertions

‘I don’t understand,’ I said, a leaden feeling spreading from my stomach and into my limbs. ‘What did I do wrong?’
‘No,’ said Father Eschaton, ‘you do not understand.’ Light from the highest windows of the temple bathed him in gold. ‘When you destroyed The Machine, you upset the delicate balance of good and evil in the world.’
‘But...’ I frowned. ‘But The Machine was evil, wasn’t it? It fed on people’s souls.’ He nodded gravely.
‘It was evil,’ he said. ‘But it was precisely evil enough. Now there is a dangerous imbalance in the forces of the universe.’
‘Hang on,’ I said. ‘Hang on a minute. Surely we’re in favour of good and opposed to evil. I really don’t see what I’ve done wrong here.’ Father Eschaton hesitated for a moment.
‘There is a balance...’ he began.
‘Why?’ I said. He shifted uncomfortably.
‘Why? Why is there a balance? Why not just have everything good and nothing evil? What’s actually wrong with that?’
‘I...’ He licked his lips and squinted. The golden light seemed to be bothering him. ‘The balance is beyond human understanding, beyond the mere...’
‘You don’t know, do you?’ I let the question hang. ‘You were going to send me back into that volcano, to almost certain death, and you’ve absolutely no idea why.’ He shrugged and mumbled something. ‘What?’ I said. ‘Speak up.’
‘Sorry,’ he mumbled. ‘I just thought...’
‘What? You just thought what?’
‘I just thought...’ He poked at the dust near his foot. ‘Just thought it’d be interesting.’


  1. Hate to say it, but I'd keep reading. :)

  2. As a parody, this is almost Pratchettesque in its brilliance! :D

  3. Hah! It reminds me of the Star Wars prophesy about Anakin - that he'd 'restore balance to the force'. Yup, two Sith vs. thousands of Jedi is pretty badly out of balance. Good thing he killed almost all of them.

    1. Balancing the force wasn't supposed to mean two groups having equal numbers, but apperantly they either weren't clear or the audience was too obtuse.

  4. This very situation plagues RPG plots. It deserves to be skewered like that evil machine.

  5. "Have your characters expound on the weaknesses you perceive in your own writing."

  6. I would totally read this book.

  7. That is hilarious. If a whole book was like this, it would be a sure hit.

  8. I would have kept on reading too, but for that final line. Now, if he'd said "Never mind. Let's talk about the weather" or "I think I'd better make a pot of tea" the unravelling could go on and on...and on...

  9. It's brilliant! Make it into a trilogy and I'd buy the series:)

  10. @Mel V, I thought the "restore balance to the force" _meant_ he would kill all the good jedi... and bring balance to the force.

  11. I've been enjoying your blog all along, and I think this is my favorite so far. I've been trying to figure out why though. Maybe it's this: "Why not just have everything good and nothing evil? What’s actually wrong with that?" And the answer is, because it would be impossible to come up with plots after that.

  12. This is just hilarious... "Just thought it'd be interesting..." Brilliant. As someone else said, it is very Pratchettesque. Great job! Why DOES everything have to be balanced?? It never made any real sense....
    But yeah, I'd very much read that book. It would be amazing. xD

  13. "Why not just have everything good and nothing evil? What’s actually wrong with that?"

    Because *I'm* writing the story dammit. Shut up and say the lines I give you. XD

  14. "The golden light seemed to be bothering him."


  15. "Why not just have everything good and nothing evil? What’s actually wrong with that?"

    Some people have actually tried to answer this question. It usually doesn't work out very well.

  16. Eve Forward's "Villains By Necessity" tackles this idea similarly. Except...well, the reasons are explained well enough for pulp fantasy.

  17. This is why having the two sides that have to be balanced being called "good and evil" never works. Instead, if they're Light and Darkness, or, even, Life and Death, well then there's a myriad of ways in which the supposedly "good" one being too powerful could cause problems.