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Garnishing the Story

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An element is included in a work, just because the element makes the story better in some way simply for having it, similar to adding spices and seasonings to food.

These elements don't drive the plot or have a narrative purpose, and aren't genre staples. They can add to characterization or Worldbuilding, but mostly the point of them is that having these elements is so much better than not having these elements.

Even if these elements have some importance to the story, it's similar to a MacGuffin in that the form needn't be any of the elements, but it's still better to have them.

Of course these elements can seem overused, especially if some feel the overall story is weak, but these elements can enrich a good story just with their inclusion.

Now that's not to say such tropes can't have any effect on the story. In fact many of these can also convey a Meaningful Appearance.

A Sister Trope to Narrative Filigree, Spectacle. If the garnish is so outlandish that having it is the whole point of the work, it's probably a Dancing Bear instead.

See also Artistic License, The Power of Index, Rule of Index, Tropes in Aggregate.

Contrast People Sit on Chairs (when there isn't even this much of a reason for an element to be a trope).

A Super-Trope to:

  • Bigger Is Better: Big things are so much better than normal-sized and tiny things.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Having explosions is so much better than not having them.

These animals are so much better than without these animals. Or, depending on the animal, much worse (adds danger and suspense).

Other languages can be better.

General Mentions of Elements Enhancing a Story

Alternative Title(s): Gratuitous X, Everythings Better With X, Everythings Better With Indexes, Garnishing The Character