I recently saw the 2015 movie of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. I wasn’t terribly impressed, but one thing stood out for me. There is some terrible plot sleight of hand going on. Let’s have a look.
I got into a discussion recently with somebody who argued that you shouldn’t have to pay for creative works, because anybody can create writing, music, or any other art as a hobby. If you only write for money, you shouldn’t be doing it. Besides, if you are really good, then you should be able to make money in other ways, such as by touring. If not, well, you should get a regular job, not try to squeeze money out of people for having fun doing your hobby.
That really pissed me off. Since I like to rant about writing online, I thought I’d post here why.
The straw man argument is where somebody tries to prove their point by attacking a twisted or exaggerated version of their opponents proposition.
Stories are often an exploration of a certain idea and the pros and cons of that idea – the story’s theme. It’s quite possible for a story to put up straw men as part of that theme. I call that straw man theming. I feel that’s bad form and a type of writing smell.
I saw The Force Awakens, and now I’m going to write about. Images are from Lucasfilm.