Where’s Your Flux Capacitor?

I guess the first question is really this: What is the Flux Capacitor?


…it’s what makes time travel possible.

And that’s all you need to know.

What a great bit of storytelling! The entire Back to the Future franchise rests on the ability of Marty McFly and Doc Brown to travel through time in their suped-up DeLorean. But do we really need to know how time travel works? Nope. We just need to know that it does.

Therefore the Flux Capacitor makes time travel possible and it also makes the story possible. All without being explained in the slightest.

So the real question of this post is: What makes a story possible? What is it that a plot relies on to make all the action which follows it make sense? If you are writing a story, do you know what is special about your story which allows it to happen?

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Buffy and the Disappearing Vampire

I’m a Buffy girl from way back.

The movie was the spark, but the show was the bomb! The seven-year series was creative, entertaining, enlightening, and sometimes controversial (perhaps one day I’ll post on the Willow-becomes-a-lesbian saga). Some of the storylines were not as strong as others, but there was always a compelling reason to watch the show.

One of the things Joss Whedon did brilliantly was to create the ‘disappearing vampire.’ When Buffy staked it through the heart – or managed some other fantastic kill shot – poof! Dust in the wind.

From a storytelling standpoint, this worked well because:

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Gladiator – Great Storytelling, Bad History

Disclaimer: There are a lot of people who rag on the Gladiator movie from the historical standpoint. Which is fair enough, because there are a boatload of historical inaccuracies. But Gladiator is also an extremely well-crafted story, hitting many emotional ‘hot buttons.’ Here are five reasons I loathe and five reasons I love this movie:

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