A powerless little girl bites off the kidnapper's finger, making him yowling in pain. She kicks in the groin and successfully escapes from the kidnapper's catch. The noob survived a zombie attack while others didn't
. Or the dummy or the main character with even their true internal struggle can beat the most genius kid, the most skilled gamer, or the most professional artist in the serious competition as if the judges have been bribed by their creator.
I used to think that they were so lucky but after I found out, those cases were called plot armor. I will also call it nepotism in writing because the main character has given the creator privileges and survivability, no matter the situation they have to deal with. I started to hate plot armor because it drove me to the mindset that anything is winnable if we have 100% luck. But the reality, nothing is perfect. Everybody has their own strength, weakness, and personal struggle.
But some writers care more about the cool scenes than the main character themselves. No matter the situation, even on the most extreme planet or fighting the most fearsome monster, they deliberately defy the reality that makes their character able to deal with it with mediocre effort. Often time happens in the most scene-driven fiction and middle-grade fiction, where the main character has no true desire or disbelief and just merely a slave for the plot, which they see it is cool but meaningless.
After I watched Abbie's video about plot-driven vs character-driven stories
, I feel becoming more misled than I used to want to write plot-driven. I currently overly presume that the Hilda franchise is overly plot-driven fiction, especially in animated series, where she's nothing but merely a sticker for the visual beauty and her adventurous plot and fantasy environments. And I amazed at Hooves of Death where the child, the main character, will be a knight to save the world from the zombie apocalypse. But she has internal misbelieves, that she is selfish, ambitious, and impatient, which the knight shouldn't have, as far as I remember.
On the bright side, I learned why it's important to know why the scene happens and affects the character, instead of just happening anyways. If not, at least write the stakes as high as possible, making the conflict harder than the character imagines.
This is just my opinion because I am still passionate about writing plot-driven fiction. I have a plot-driven character but I don't want to make her as a plot armor. I could write the stake like her personal shield goes offline and lost her blaster. If the mission is too dangerous and risky for her, I'd prefer not to write it unless she is escorted by either military force or her own high-tech weapons.