I’ve described myself as a plot junkie before, and it still holds true, particularly when I’m watching a movie or TV show. While I can enjoy a plot that consists mainly of “shit blows up real good” (yes, I liked Shoot ‘Em Up; I’m not proud of that), I really love when a story turns draws together the separate threads of plot and turns them into something entirely new, subverting my expectations and revealing that what I’d thought was the central story wasn’t even a scrap of the larger plot. That’s what will hook me on a show and will keep me with it long past the point where I’d have gotten sick of it.
Why yes, I did watch the season premiere of Lost last night. Why do you ask?
Anyway, there are times when this can backfire. There’s a certain point where not knowing what the show or story is going to do turns into not trusting the story. At that point, even when the I’m told me something straight out, I have trouble believing it. Even if the author or the show’s creators back this up. (I’m looking at you here, Battlestar Galactica.)
I’m not sure what the tipping point is. I just finished The Somnambulist, which has a plot that turns itself practically inside out, and I still don’t know what was going on at the end. (It also made me yell and slam the book shut at one point, then stare at it until I was sure I could read further without getting more creeped out. That’s a good thing.) So why do I trust the author there, when I’m having trouble with BSG and, even though I liked last night’s episode, Lost?
What about you? Does a knotty plot draw you in or put you off? What makes you trust an author or team of writers, and what can break that trust?