I came across this idea for the first time in Blake Snyder’s book Save the Cat. (I’m going to be talking about some of the principles I learned in this book on Wednesday. It was amazing!)
Double Mumbo Jumbo is when a story has more than one magical element that makes you suspend disbelief. Example: Time traveling vampires, Alien zombies, Mermaid demon hunters.
I think the main principle behind the idea is: Don’t over load your stories. Keep it simple. Keep it concise. Keep it to one unbelievable element.
A few years ago I read a retelling of Cinderella. There were little elements of magic here and there (exactly what you would expect) and then suddenly we find out that the fairy godmother characters is actually an alien that came through a portal. Huh?!?! The author lost me right there.
I know you’ve felt this in books or movies. You’re watching and all the sudden werewolf ninjas show up and it’s over for you. Most of the time more doesn’t help the action or the plot. Sometimes it just muddles things up.
I would love to hear any literary examples you all can think of. And if you disagree, “Heck yes! More is better!” Tell me why you feel like that :)