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Don’t Get Hung Up On Story Perfection

The pursuit of the perfect story is folly. No matter how much time you put into it, how many people you have look it over, or how many times someone edits it for you, I hate to break it to you, but your story isn’t going to be perfect.

And that’s ok.

A great example of an excellent story that is far from perfect is Pixar’s original Toy Story. This animated masterpiece is so filled with plot holes and story telling disasters that, if you stop to think about each and every one and critique it on the basis of those items alone, you will wind up hating the story.

One of the biggest plot holes in the entire movie is how Buzz Lightyear refuses to accept and understand that he is, in fact, a toy when he is first introduced. This is very important. Why? Because one of the rules the toys have is to not be animated when around people.

We also learn that this is not by some magical force imbued upon them (like Weeping Angels that quantum lock when a person looks at them as in the Dr. Who universe). Rather, it is by choice. As evidenced by the fact that they “break” the “rule” willingly when they choose to confront Sid. You know, the vile next door neighbor kid?

If Buzz doesn’t believe himself to be a toy, then any time someone like Andy entered the room wouldn’t Buzz most likely continue to prance around, talk, and work on repairing his spaceship in full view? And Why? Well, because he has no reason not to since he doesn’t believe he is a toy.

However, it is quite obvious that Buzz does in fact go limp and into just a toy mode any time Andy or other humans are around. We even see him do this when he is plucked from the toy vending machine full of aliens at Pizza Planet.

It really doesn’t make any sense. And it would drive you nuts to keep thinking about it during the course of the movie if you focused solely on that huge, yawning hole in the plot.

By any standard, this is a huge flaw in the story. Yet, here we are, years later, and Toy Story is still very popular. Sometimes you have to overlook flaws and just enjoy a story.

So, next time you are working hard to overcome a major flaw in your own story, consider whether or not it really matters all that much if you do.

Should you try and avoid massive, gaping plot holes like this if at all possible? Absolutely. But is not having any major plot holes necessary to having a finished, well crafted story? Nope.

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