A plot device
is a person or an object introduced to a story to affect or advance the plot
of the story. In the hands of a skilled writer
, the reader or viewer won't notice that the device is a construction of the author—it will seem to follow naturally from the setting or characters in the story. A poorly written story, on the other hand, may have such awkward or contrived plot devices that the reader has serious trouble maintaining suspension of disbelief
; indeed, they may even leave plot holes.
Some plot devices include: