There’s a moment in the latest fakestallment of—that is to say pretender to the throne—the Indiana saga that bugs me more than any other. It’s when they’re looking for a skull and they end up in the small chamber with the dead Conquistador. One of the idiots disturbs some gold and it gets pulled into the armor with the crystal skull. LeDouche looks at Han and mentions that gold isn’t magnetic. Not exactly how it plays out but you get my point. The characters ignore it and continue on.
This happens way too often, once is too many, for my liking. The author notices something wrong with their story, they have a character point it out and then it gets ignored. It’s usually supposed to be a moment of levity that breaks the fourth wall. It’s not though, it’s sloppy writing. When you notice crap like that, you fix it. You don’t leave it in because you’re too brain dead to patch the hole you punched in the plot.
Some writers seem to think this is funny. Do you know why we laugh guys? It’s because it’s pathetic. We’re laughing at you, not with you. You want to make us laugh intentionally? Be funny, not a crappy author.
In Chris’s case, pointing out that Eragon is useless does not transform him into useful. Sure, Murtagh could be spurring him on to become a real hero but we know that’s not how this is going to play out. Eragon is going to remain as functional as a tinfoil sword. He’ll just be luckier and angrier than before. I could be wrong, which would be refreshing, but this is a pretty safe bet.
This chapter is called ‘a clash of wills’. Oh, I’ve always wanted to see a clash of wills. How about Will Smith versus William Dafoe? Or maybe William Buckley versus Prince William? Will it, pardon the use, be a battle of mental or physical wills? Maybe they’ll have a contest to see who can prepare their last will and testament?
‘I, Eragon, Bequeath thee Murtagh…’ ‘Hurry Eragon, write faster, Murtagh is beating you! He’s already at the section declaring his worldly possessions!’ ‘…To my least favorite person, Eragon, I leave my filthy, crusty, unwashed leather pants which you are to eat with a side of crow…’
Eragon wakes up tired and chaffing. If he looks over at the unconscious form or Arya and grins I’m going to stab him. Luckily he’s chaffed from the horse. That’s a little less creepy and far more entertaining.
I must eat, said Saphira. Days have passed since I last hunted. Hunger claws my belly. If I start now, I might be able to catch enough of those bounding deer for a few mouthfuls.
Eragon smiled at her exaggeration. Go if you must, but leave Arya here.
‘Oh, so you’re going to…touch the princess. Again.’ ‘You needn’t be so disgusted. It’s perfectly natural.’ ‘Yes, if she weren’t an elf who didn’t at all smell of the most foul rotting woods. Could you at least bathe her while I’m gone?’ ‘Uh, she’ll be naked if that counts for something.’
Saphira eats, they wander, they stop for water, they see a group of soldiers. They debate who they could be. While not being there in person, I wouldn’t rule out the cast of No Ordinary Family. Sure they have swords and ride horses but I remain unconvinced.
Murtagh and Eragon mumble among each other. ‘They could be bad. Let’s kill them.’ ‘No, let’s kill a lot of them.’ ‘Oh good idea, that’s why you’re in charge.’ The soldiers close around them and they banter for an agonizing moment. I don’t mean there’s tension or anything, I just mean the strain of reading the dialogue made me physically ill.
It turns out that they’re slavers. Just why slavers are travelling an extremely desolate stretch of land or why they bother attacking two armed men is beyond me. As far as I’m aware, adult males not born into servitude aren’t exactly worth much. Women and children perhaps but not grown men. Then one of them see’s Arya and notices she’s an elf.
“Well, ’ow much is she worth?” someone asked.
Blimey, i’s like ‘e’s a bloody limey, dat one is. ‘at’s ‘ow you know ‘e’s evil. Cos ‘e talks like a bleedin chimney sweep from dat movie wit Dick van Dyke an’ wot not. Though, ‘e wa’n’t evil. Jus stupid. Like a certain author who shall remain nameless.
The slavers must have internet access because one of them knows that the princess is worth a fortune to Galbatorix. The trio of tard monkeys attack. The slavers flee, leaving the leader behind. For some reason he stays put long enough to Murtagh to decide to kill him. Murtagh then beheads him with a single swipe which starts a fight between him and Eragon. ‘Mommy, daddy, don’t fight.’ Saphira said.
“I’m only trying to stay alive,” stated Murtagh. “No stranger’s life is more important than my own.”
“But you can’t indulge in wanton violence. Where is your empathy?” growled Eragon, pointing at the head.
That’s hilarious. Eragon asking someone else where their empathy is. Not at all hypocritical of a man who completely ignores the feelings of Saphira who is stuck with him forever. Not once has he ever asked her how she feels about killing people because he was stupid enough to get captured. Project much, Eragon?
True to form, they continue on and Saphira asks if he’s ok. Because we were all worried about how he feels. Not Murtagh who has to be competent or Saphira who gets ignored unless it’s convenient. No, we were worried for poor Eragon and how he had to watch a slaver get killed.
Saphira offers him a hug and says he can sleep with her tonight. Eragon wipes at his nose and nods a little when she asks if that will make him feel better. Yeah, see I would have gone with an introspective hero that could figure it out by either talking or ruminating. The weak, needs a mother hero is different and bold in the same way killing flies with a Bunsen burner is efficient.
…And to the Ra’Zac, I bequeath my stupid, useless companion Eragon, whom they are to eat to prevent his disease of utter stupidity from spreading across the entire map of Alagaesia.
And to his dragon, Saphira, I bequeath a spell to break her bond with the Gary-Stu who hatched her, so that she may not die when Eragon meets his oh-so-timely end, but may watch as he is devoured and laugh along with me.
(Yes, the Ra’Zac eat human flesh)
Oh dear, that’s something I’ve got to watch out for. What if something is wrong with your story, a character points it out, but then another character examines it and fixes the plot hole? Like, if the second guy had scratched the gold with a knife or something and found that it was a magnet painted gold? Is it still bad writing?
I’m really enjoying these sporks. Thanks a ton 🙂
I think it’s a lesser form as it indicates self awareness which is a step in the right direction. Things like that can be fine played for laughs but hanging lampshades should be done sparingly. It’s hard sometimes but more rewarding to go back and correct the issue but that’s exactly what revision is for.