Unbelievable Coincidences – Okay in Life but not in Fiction #writing #life
Another post from the abandoned draft vault! 😀
Readers are more likely to say something is unbelievable or too coincidental when it’s in a book, but these kinds of things happen in real life all the time. Two examples off the top of my head, though not of the same importance, they were, possibly, even less likely to happen.
1) On a trip to NYC in 2002, we only knew one person who lived there at that time. He wasn’t a friend, he was a total acquaintance from high school and we only knew he lived there because his mother lived around the corner from us. We didn’t know where he lived or where he worked or anything else. So, we’re in Soho with Punny, and around the corner we come, and WHO IS THERE? Richard. Yep, the one and only dude we knew who lived in the city. Did he even live or work in Soho? No, he was there leaving a cafe where he’d met a friend for lunch. He lived in Queens and worked in Midtown. And yet in that city of endless people, we somehow ran into him during the course of the four days we were there. The odds of that are insane!
2) Once I was driving in a mall parking lot in Chattanooga, singing along to a song and looked over to see that the driver at the stop sign across from me was singing along to the exact same song, at the exact same place in the song. I could see her lips making the words very distinctly, and I was like, “Wow, that’s wild. We must be listening to the same radio station.” But then I remembered I was listening to a cassette tape! What are the freaking odds of THAT? And it wasn’t even a hit song. It was an old Cure song, if I recall correctly. Love Cats or something.
Anyway, yeah. I have no idea where I was going with this…just that coincidences and weird synchronicity happen in real life all the time, but in books they’re often doubted and dubbed unrealistic. I wonder why we are so much stricter with fiction than reality?