Maybe this is why it takes me so long to finish projects.
2 posts ago, I indicated that I would be working towards finishing up The Masks of Our Fathers. I was quite excited to be delving back into that very dark psychological book. But then, a project that has become something of a bully to me reared its ugly head.
Broken Skies is begging me to finish it. And what I mean by this is that I was basically slapped in the face with the perfect ending to it. It’s been there all along and I don’t know how I missed it. It ties everything together perfectly and some of the plot devices I use along the course of the story seemed to know this ending was coming before I even did.
Here’s the problem…well, not a problem bot more like a scruple. The ending, no matter how well it works, is going to fall into deus ex machina territory. I have mixed feelings on this. Sometimes I think this works for novels, other times not so much. (On a not quite unrelated note, I really fear that Lost is going to end up using deus ex machina to end the series).
I think this tool (for lack of a better word) has the potential to be genius in certain books or movies or TV shows. But then there are times where they make me feel as if the writer was just being really lazy. So I am going to start from the top, reading through and editing Broken Skies before adding the new and improved ending, to make sure I am not cheating myself and any potential readers.
What are YOUR thoughts on using deus ex machina in novel writing? Do you accept it when you see it in literature and/or movies or does it irritate you?