Chekov's gun: story arcs

Filed: Blog @ 5:57am on July 10, 2010 2 responses :)   Word Count: 254

Chekov’s gun according to wikipedia is:

the literary technique whereby an element is introduced early in the story, but its significance does not become clear until later on. For example, a character may find a mysterious object that eventually becomes crucial to the plot, but at the time the object is found it does not seem to be important.

The only way to properly use a Chekov’s gun is to have planned it in advance and having planted it in a way to made the readers oblivious to its presence.

Polars, murder mysteries and thrillers all use the Chekov’s gun doctrine to build the plot in such a way as the reader doesn’t feel cheated.

Erotic stories in general and porn movies in particular do not use it because the plot is usually rather simple. Boy meets girl. Boy fucks girl and other boy or other girl or both. Repeat until movie is done.

So, do I use them ?

I can tell you that 3 of my stories contain a Chekov’s gun, but that one of them might not be used because it would mean finishing the story. Don’t ask me for them, my wife is the only person who got the scoop.

In one of the stories for which the plot device will be useful, there are multiple hints that will be scattered  in future chapters.

That means that at least 40% of my stories have a story arc which requires foreshadowing.

So, I could change my teaser to :

Come for the sex, stay for the suspense

But “Stories with erotic elements” is just as perfect.

2 Responses to “Chekov’s gun: story arcs”

  1. Anissa Homola Says:

    Great I have read your article and by the way I found you website on Bing and I think after I read a few of your posts on your website especially this one, I’ve decided to subscribe to your RSS feed not to miss any of your stories.

  2. Movie Review: Room in Rome | NSFW Author Says:

    […] did Natasha extend the right arm ? Why make a fuss about her being left handed if it’s not a Chekov’s gun […]

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