Would this be avoiding the Deus Ex Machina cliche?

I have a fantasy series with mono-mythical/spiritual themes, has mythical creatures, spirits, and even Gods and Goddesses.

But to avoid the Deus Ex Machina trope, I was thinking of having the Gods/spirits only involved if something supernatural happens, but anything that's mortal is never involved. The main god is like hope in disguise, neither guaranteed or promised, all he can do is watch as the battle goes on. The Gods are bound by cosmic rules not to interfere unless something supernatural is involved.

4 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Deus ex machina literally means "god from the machine" (referring to a piece of theatrical apparatus that allowed an actor to appear to descend from the heavens), but nowadays it refers to "a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object." (Wikipedia)

    Depending on how you handle it, having a god come along and fight the battle for the good guys could be deus ex machina, if there's never been any indication beforehand that the god might help, and he turns up to crush the opposition just because he feels like it. But if you've foreshadowed it properly, with the good guys doing the necessary things to make sure the god appears when they need him, it could work.

    (Brandon Sanderson once said that deus ex machina is really just failed foreshadowing. You can have almost anything happen in a story as long as you lay the groundwork for it.)

  • David
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    The more your hero causes the conflict resolution, the less Deus Ex Machina you have.

  • 7 years ago

    If its fantasy with mythical creatures why would you even care ?

  • Herve
    Lv 6
    7 years ago


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