Coinkydinks in Fiction [repost]


I’m not a fan of multiple coincidences. It boggles my suspension of disbelief, and contrary to how I may appear with my scoffing at magic/miracles, etc., I really am quite willing to S my B for a book or a movie. I have no issue with magic or the supernatural if it’s written well ~ I’ve loved a lot of silly books and movies that hinge on the most ridiculous of premises. Because entertainment!

I was up early today (like crazy early) and watched a movie. I have found that if I wake in the middle of the night with a headache and go back to sleep, I will be guaranteed a migraine at 6AM, but if I get up, take aspirin, drink water or cola, I can sometimes get rid of it. Naturally, I’ll be exhausted by mid-afternoon, oh well. The movie I watched was In Lieu of Flowers, sort of a romcom, but mostly about the grief process after a romantic partner has died or whatever.

The protags, Eric and Rachel, meet at a grief-support group. OK. But then it turns out Eric’s doctor is Rachel’s father. This is totally unnecessary. But even worse is when E&R encounter each other in the waiting room. Think about that. How many doctors there are and how many patients each doctor has. What are the odds, IN NEW YORK CITY, of you and your romantic interest having the same doc? Then the odds of you both having appts on the same day about the same time? Boggle.

Of course, there’s the usual stupid thing of having people with ordinary jobs in NYC somehow managing to live in fabulous places. I suppose Rachel, a second grade teacher, has doctor-dad subsidizing her BEACH HOUSE, but we never get the scoop on Eric’s financial sitch. Whatever. It was just a fluff movie. For a supposedly broken person, Rachel always manages to look continually gorgeous and smile at every strange man, even a drunk on the subway.

I understand that everything can’t be a masterpiece. It’s fine. I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately. Or should I say starting them. I don’t finish most. I did get to the end of In Lieu because I had nothing else to do.

Writing fiction? Seems unfathomable to me these days, like chasing a blow-up raft that’s floated out to sea. I sort of still see it bobbing out there, but it’s so far away, and I’m tired. I write some poetry though because that’s all language and emotion. I don’t have to grind out sentences and dialog and worry about where it’s going and the point of it all.

No point.

[Written in 2015 and have written more fiction since.]


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17 responses to “Coinkydinks in Fiction [repost]

  1. In my relatively modest dating life, I’ve had serious relationships with two women who worked at the same tiny boutique specialty bicycle shop—and not in Portland. They didn’t work there when I met them, but I thought that was really strange. It wouldn’t have been a fiction-useful coincidence, but it was damned weird.

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  2. …it’s especially weird since I can’t ride a bike, so it’s not as if I was, you know, looking for cyclists.

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  3. I don’t know. Here’s one for you. The girl I said I had the blind date with but never called her, but wound up meeting her at a party and hitting it off with her before we discovered we were that blind date? Later, while picking her up for a date, I met her uncle, who seemed to think he had met me before but couldn’t quite place me. I did not tell him we met because I had hit his son’s car with mine a few years previous (his fault) and he, the uncle, was a lawyer, who got the whole thing thrown out of court and swept under the rug and I was out a car. Of course, that was a small town, and there were in fact too many coincidences, and, all in all, it would have made for a bad novel.

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  4. I generally view the coincidence in romcom as an important element to create the com, but I abhor coincidence in drama, mystery or lit fic. I guess I’m a coincidental bigot.

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  5. A lot of coincidences, as well as a lot of characters, can exist in real life that just aren’t believable in fiction. An inconvenient truth, that.

    I watched part of a rom-com last night: Enchanted. I missed the second half but was certain the princess and the lawyer would fall in love while their respective prince and fiance would as well, just from the way they never made the fiance a sympathetic character and the prince was a goof. Nothing to do with coinkydinks, just general rom-com dumbery.


  6. I vaguely recall reading somewhere that a writer is allowed one crazy coincidence per book/film and beyond that, it’s unbelieveable.

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  7. You’ve a lot of patience to watch such a movie.

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  8. Sex and the City was the ultimate in affording a fabulous New York life with money just magically appearing out of nowhere.

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  9. I understand your sleep issues. Mine is due to old age. I’ve also had a block from writing fiction for over a year. The log jam seems to be broken now.

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