‘Coincidence’ is one of those plotting tools used in basically every storyline ever told – Those instances where things just kinda ‘happen’?
The guy the MC has her eye on just ‘happens’ to sit next to her in class.
The antagonist just ‘happens’ to be at the right place at the right time and discover exactly the secret the MC is trying hide.
Other times the character’s motivation and actions are trying to promote one outcome when ‘coincidence’ has things going in a completely different direction.
Like when a bunch of human-blood-drinking vampires ‘just happen’ to show up to a family baseball game and then ‘just happen’ to decide to chase after the mortal MC because she smells good.
And then there’s that ‘funny coincidence’, like in the commercial below. ( funniest commercial I think I’ve ever seen)
The difficulty with coincidence is that for the writer, nothing happens by accident. Everything the characters do and say and every turn their lives take has been pre-plotted in order to help our story play out.
The hard part is making things seem natural and plausible without being obvious about where it’s all going. The last thing you want is a reader feeling like things ‘kinda happen’ just because ‘they kinda have to’ in order to move along the plot.
So tell me, what kind of coincidences do you use or notice most in your work or books you’ve read?