Created By: MelkiorJune 6, 2013 Last Edited By: MelkiorJune 7, 2013
Nuked

Doomsday Log

A record left behind by a deceased or missing person provides clues or the outright answer to their fate

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It's a trope which has existed possibly for as long as writing has existed: The protagonist finds an abandoned ship, hut or similar. In it, is a log or record of some kind. They read the final entry in the log, and it either explains outright what happened to the former owner, or else it provides clues to the owner's fate, which the protagonist then decides to follow up on.

Subtrope of Apocalyptic Log, but Doomsday Log applies when only the last entry or the last few entries of the log are important to the plot.

Can be a subtrope of Mac Guffin when the log is carried around by the protagonist and is used to drive the rest of the plot.

If the person is only missing instead of dead, the missing person may become a Living Mac Guffin.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • June 6, 2013
    Stratadrake
    You almost found it already: Apocalyptic Log.
  • June 6, 2013
    Melkior
    It looks like Doomsday Log would be a subtrope of Apocalyptic Log. That trope seems to relate to the plot following the whole of a log, while this proposed trope relates to just the ending of the log.
  • June 6, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Yeah, this is just a slightly more specific subtrope of Apocalyptic Log. With a synonymous name to boot.
  • June 6, 2013
    Melkior
    I'm not convinced that it is only "slightly" more specific. I'm willing to discard if someone can convince me otherwise.
  • June 6, 2013
    Boston
    If only "the last few entries are important to the plot," that's Conservationof Detail. You haven't distinguished the two in any way.
  • June 6, 2013
    StarSword
    I see no difference between this and Apocalyptic Log.
  • June 6, 2013
    Melkior
    ^^ That sounds logical. But in that case, perhaps Apocalyptic Log needs to go to Trope Repair Shop to add this variation to the description?
  • June 6, 2013
    StarSword
    Reread the second paragraph of Apocalyptic Log, especially the second sentence. It's covered already. And that would be a job for this thread anyway, not the TRS.
  • June 6, 2013
    Melkior
    ^ I've done that. Nothing in that paragraph refers to the trope being able to only refer to the last few entries. In fact the paragraph specifically refers to the entire log, not to just the last entry or the last few entries.

    I'm open to changing the trope description to make it clearer. Is it something I can just do, or does it need discussion?
  • June 6, 2013
    Koveras
    So this is basically Apocalyptic Log But More Specific?
  • June 6, 2013
    StarSword
    ^^See, the thing is, we're not seeing the difference you're seeing. What does this cover that Apocalyptic Log does not?
  • June 6, 2013
    Stratadrake
    I agree that Apocalyptic Log is generally subject to Conservation Of Detail in that you (the audience) generally only ever hear the final entries. Those are generally the most important anyway. I'll take a whack at tweaking Apocalyptic Log to reflect this....

    Besides, even if this is not entirely The Same But More Specific, with a title like this it is still guilty of being a Ridiculously Similar Trope.
  • June 7, 2013
    Melkior
    Simple answer: If I can see that this trope is covered by Apocalyptic Log, I'll discard it myself.

    Edit: I see the second paragraph now allows Apocalyptic Log to cover this type of log. Discarding.

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