Fiction File: 2018, Second Post after the Game, or How Not to Do Fiction…

How’s it going? If you’re soon-to-be-not-new around here, sometimes I write posts that I intend only for fiction writers (Fiction Files) or only for copywriters (Copywriting Codexes). The title betrays me on this deal today, and now that you know, you’re not new to the concept.

This is post #2 of the Super Bowl commercial thing that I’m running this week.

Let’s get to it.

Some of the ads incorporated parts or ideas from previous ads (one of which I hope to get to before this week’s out). The one I want to talk about today is the Bud Knight ad.

They actually ran the previous ad in the series before the Super Bowl, like a couple weeks before (where the commander talks about being out of booze and how fire arrows probs don’t hurt more than the regular kind).

I’m talking about the one after that one, where the Bud Knight appears, goes to the store, buys the booze, and tells the people he’s going to a party after they ask whether he’ll fight with them or not. He tells people to show up at the party he’s going to later (if they make it out alive).

When somebody says “that probably won’t happen,” the Bud Knight raises his sword and says something (I think it’s his name). There’s a massive shock-wave and all the enemy soldiers fall dead (or maybe just run off–the pic was too small for me to tell).

I enjoyed this ad a lot (and I think they were trying to imply Game of Thrones stuff, but since I’m 99.998% ignorant of that universe, I don’t know for sure–it could have just been generic Middle Ages).

Anyway, based on how things went in this ad, if it were a story…

99% of the time, this’d be horrible.

That’s because the Bud Knight is like an inexplicable solution to everyone’s problems with no struggle involved. There was conflict, for sure, but then it was just gone after the knight showed up.

This lives by the hard-to-say “deus ex machina” (the writerly term, not that game with the guy who has dark glasses).

It’s basically about a guy with a crane in Greek drama who lowers a god character on stage to fix everything when it looks like things can’t be fixed by anyone or anything else.

Readers will feel cheated if this is done. They want to experience your story as things go along–to be amazed, fearful, and more along with the characters. They want to wrap their minds around the characters’ problems and figure out how the characters will solve their own problems, as much as possible.

That gets them more deeply involved in the story. They deserve that, right?

As fiction, this may have worked a teeny bit better if the knight backed everyone as they picked up their weapons again and fought on.

At least he didn’t leave everyone to die, I will say that much.

That’s about it for today. Feel free to drop me a line in the comments about knights, Super Bowl ads, or what-have-ya. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Tomorrow is post 3.

Until next time,



About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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