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Is it better to leave blank holes in a story ?

Discussion in 'Reader's Corner' started by Yagami1211, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Yagami1211 The Dragon of Dojima

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    What I mean is, should everything relevant should be explained in a story ?
    Or should some thing be left to the imagination to keep the reader wondering ?

    I can be related to the story or to character. But is it okay to not explain things for the reader to fill up the blank himself, or should the writer explain everything ?

    Exemple :
    The Midichlorians in Star Wars, The Force was something mostly unexplained but Lucasfilms decided to give a scientific eplaination to rationalize the concept of The Force. But was it for the best ?

    Or in the game Silent Hill 2, the main character wonder in a town and sees monsters with little to no in universe justification. The story team originally decided to explain this by having the character be schizophrenic. They eventually backtracked and didn't gave any explaination so the player can put himself in the characters shoes more easily and have him fill the blank himself. To make the player use his imagination.

    I read that stories that leaves just some little things to the reader's imagination are usually better received.

    What is your opinion ?
     
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  2. Aduro Definitely not a villain.

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    I think its okay so long as its being done for the right reasons. In life we often don't understand the people around us. The same should be true for characters. For example one of the reasons Hamlet is considered one of the best Shakespearean tragedies is that Hamlet as a character is highly ambigious. Its impossible to be sure when he's insane or when he's just pretending. Whether he is genuinely on a quest for justice for his father's murder, or whether he's just eager to lose himself in a childish and oedipal heroic fantasy. If Shakespeare had left a note explaining it all, Hamlet's character would be lessened, not enhanced. If anything he might have been even more interesting if we never even knew whether or not Claudius had really been a poisoner.

    And obviously sci-fi series relies on science that doesn't actually exist so it can't be fully explained. But it should either be deliberately avoiding keeping people in the loop. Sometimes authors throw in some phlebotinum like Minovsky Particles or the Mass Effect. And that's enough to suspend disbelief. (I'd hesitate to throw Midichlorians in as an example since the films tend to treat The Force as magic, so your kidding yourself if you ever expected an explanation for that one). Or sometimes authors just tell readers that science isn't fully understood by the characters narrating the story so the reader can't get a decent explanation either. Which is the case in most alien sci-fi.

    That being said, if we don't understand things well enough, then its tough to know the stakes of a story. Or easy to lose track of the plot. If the audience is constantly thrown a random magic explanation for everything then its tough to know when to worry about the hero. For example I love Superman and Doctor Who. But some terrible episodes and chapters come from seeing The Doctor doing some random stuff with his Sonic Screwdriver or Superman coming up with a new power out of nowhere. Rather than using the previously established abilities and plot devices.
     
  3. Yagami1211 The Dragon of Dojima

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    I see what you mean. Thanks for the opinion. This is about what I expected.
     
  4. Keishin Well-Known Member

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    Holes that are left up to interpretation can exist but it's not any "better" to leave them in. It all takes effort, explaining and meticulously weaving the story around said holes, and the writer should know the answer.
     
  5. Kiseki Release The Kraken

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    I personally only find them useful if they get filled in later on as they could be used for plot twists.
     
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