The (genius) Teresa Nielsen Hayden presents Stupid Plot Tricks.
Best. Tool. Evah.
Here’s what I got on my first run though it:
Main Evil Guy: If I decide to hold a contest of skill open to the general public, contestants will be required to remove their hooded cloaks and shave their beards before entering.
Main Good Guy: If one of the Bad Guys manages to kill my Mentor, I’m clearly not prepared to immediately avenge him; I will retreat and develop my skills.
Aux Bad Guy: While you’re pulling guard duty, if anyone shows up with a prisoner transfer or maintenance job, and you don’t know about it, arrest them on the spot.
Aux Good Guy (true love of the main hero): If I catch the Hero in a compromising situation with another woman, I will give the Hero the benefit of whatever doubt might reasonably exist.
Further Evil: I will never attend an auction of an Ultimate Weapon. If it’s truly as good as advertised, the auctioneer would already be the Evil Overlord.
Plot Twists to Add — from Murphy’s Laws of Combat:
1. Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them is to use a larger can.
2. For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
3. Fortify your front and you’ll get your rear shot up.
4. The most delicate component will be dropped.
Tell me yah couldn’t make a good story out of that.
(via Randy. Thanks!)