Saturday, March 14, 2009

Coincidence

coincidence--two or more events taking place at the same time in a dramatic narrative, seemingly by happenstance; unplanned simultaneous occurrences which appear to cast a meaning of predestination; any events in stories that happen without being planned and which appear to effect positively the outcome of the story.

Accidental pairings of events may add complications to stories. Dick and Jane may be forced by coincidence and a full house to share a table at a restaurant, whereupon they subsequently fall in love, because that is a complication. Coincidences should not, however, play a major role in providing the outcome. The outcome is the result of some decisive and planned act on the part of the protagonist; the reader will feel cheated by any other scenario. Similarly, if Bill Villain, arch bad guy, winds up being repaid for his evil ways by having a landslide bury him, Bill Galahad, arch good guy will have in some way caused the landslide to tumble.

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