lish1936 wrote:Jan, as per the definition of Deus ex Machina, it refers to the end of the story and usually without any foreshadowing. Is there a comparable term for an event in the middle of the story that comes from out of the blue in order to carry the story forward? Or is that an acceptable writing technique?
I was thinking of that part of my story when I had to introduce the sound of the child's voice without a hint. Could I have done something differently?
Lillian, the key aspect of a deus ex machina
is that it is somehow absurd or implausible, and that it solves the main character's problem in a too-convenient way. Not every sudden event is a deus ex machina
, and not every event in a story needs to be foreshadowed.
In a full-length work of fiction, I suppose the deus ex machina might appear at a place other than the ending, although it's usually thought of as a culminating event.
In a short story such as yours, it would be extremely rare to say that an event in the middle of the story was a deus ex machina
. More specifically, the introduction of the child's voice is simply another event in the rising action--and one more step leading your main character to the climax of the story.