Every so often I see a nice piece of fiction where its author adds something (to save the plot, or to make it interesting, whatever) that makes the story broken (usually it makes the world, setting or environment broken). Canonical examples include:
- unlimited time travel (e.g. in Harry Potter someone could have use the time-turner to kill Voldemort before he became dangerous),
- super-ultra-hyper-mega weapon (e.g. in Star Wars: A New Hope, Vader could just annihilate both the planet and the moon, he didn't need to wait for the moon to become visible),
- unconstrained teleport (e.g. in Lord of the Rings, Frodo could have just flew to destroy the ring).
I would like to make a list of features that could easily make the world broken, so that the author should think twice before adding such an element or avoid it if possible. To make it more helpful, some comments on how to make such feature workable (constraints that doesn't prevent its use, but does prevent abuse) would be appreciated, for example:
- time-machine which needs to be charged before each use, and you can only go back as far as the charge-time was;
- super-weapon with
- very high reload time (or even one-time weapon),
- big resource consumption,
- limited aiming capabilities,
- teleport only between linked teleport stations and with some non-zero transmition time.
Sometimes such features are very mundane, for example, weird money exchange rates that would make arbitrage possible (in a story where huge amount of money would solve the main challenge or make it considerably easier).
I would greatly appreciate your ideas!
It feels like I was misunderstood. I don't want to create some infinite (what?!) list of forbidden tricks. As for the survey-making comment, I have no idea what you want to call it, but number of questions from top of Highest Voted Questions are of form "what are good to/about " or "best to do/avoid ". Maybe "what are good features to make your story ridiculous" or "best ways to make your story broken" would be a better description of question I wanted to ask.
Also, it is not a plot holes I am looking for. Things I am looking for induce plot holes, but not every plot hole is what I am interested in. The main difference is that features like unconstrained time travel make the story broken continuously and independently of what the protagonists will do (but for destruction of the time machine). At any point they can do almost anything including complete reorganization of the world (and thus removing any challenges).
Plot hole is usually a single event that doesn't fit, e.g. some kind of "out of character behavior". What I am looking for are things that create a plot trench, where someone ignores a natural and easy solution for a long period of time (usually from feature introduction to the end of the challenge). Often it is not only the main challenge that would be rendered pointless, but also any other similar problems.