The Well-Tempered Plot Device, as published in the July 1986 Ansible:
bq.. You may find, in the course of hacking forth your masterpiece from the living pulp, that none of the plot devices hitherto catalogued, none of these little enemas to the Muse, will keep the story flowing; that you can think of no earthly reason why the characters should have to go through with this absurd sequence of actions save that you want them to, and no earthly reason why they should succeed save that it’s in the plot. Despair not. If you follow the handbook, you’ll find there’s a plot device even for this—when the author has no choice but to intervene in person.
Obviously, this requires a disguise, unless you’re terribly postmodernist.
(via Jed Hartman)