Is It Really A Matter Of Convenience?


A short post today. But I believe it handles an issue of decent-sized importance for writers.

I received a review that said the only flaw with my book was “an abundance of convenient tools and events to drive the story along.”

Certainly not a terrible review.

However, this has me slightly confused. I can understand the convenient tools, but convenient events? Events are what drives a story along; so, how can they be convenient? How else does one write a story without having events that trigger progression?

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10 thoughts on “Is It Really A Matter Of Convenience?

  1. I agree, Chris…almost all the events in a novel are written and planned so that they “conveniently” and magically propell the story to its conclusion, and that seems to be how it should be…perhaps the reader meant the events in your novel seemed “too convenient to be true”? Either way, though, the entire point of a novel is indeed to string together convenient events in a meaningful and exciting way!

    • Maybe, but I don’t really see much of anything that is “too convenient?” Maybe I’m just missing it? I’m not sure. Either way, this is something for me to reflect on for my future writing.

  2. Yes, that’s a tough one. I had a couple of “coincidences” crop up in my story which I’ve tried to deal with – coincidences happen in real life, but look “too convenient” in fiction. But often, your characters just happening to meet each other, just happening to have complementary skills or magic, or whatever, are great coincidences. So, I don’t know what people are looking for if they’re not wanting “convenient” circumstances to appear …

    • I don’t particularly see how else a story can be driven along without certain things happening to move it? I mean, technically anything can be seen as a coincidence in a story, am I wrong?

  3. Hmmmmm, I can understand why you would be confused by that 😦

    I’m not ar enough in yet to even have a clue what that reviewer means, but, playing devils advocate…. Could it be that they mean those twists and turns were just too obvious? Predictable?

    Xx

    • Perhaps that is the case; but, of course, I don’t think so. But, as I said earlier, now this is something for me to reflect on for my future writing.

      • Oh definitely, we can always learn something from people’s feedback. And let’s face it, some people are really picky, especially when it comes to what they read. They could probably find faults with authors who have dozens of successful books published 🙂

        Good luck!

        Xx

      • That is very true! I always try to take something positive out of every review that mentions any faults.

        And thanks! 🙂

  4. Having read the story end to end, I have to say there was a lot that was not predicatble about the story. As you said, how can you escape using events to drive the story along? More to the point, did they provide any examples of these “convenient events”? It could simply be a lazy way of filling out a review. Try this, look at the example of Ryker pursuing the killer of the first inventor and winding up in the pub where his lady-friend is in the process of being sold. (Forgive me, I blanked on her name.) Is this a Convenient event? How else are you to move the story forward? You have to show the reader certain elements, otherwise you are just introducing plot holes into the story. If there were no examples, I would take the review with a grain of salt and not worry too much about it.

    • They did not provide any examples, so I believe you are correct in not worrying about it too much. It was a 3 star review, which could be much worse. And her name is Celia. 😉

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