Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Coincidences happen in real life. It’s best not to use them in your writing. The killer and the detective just happen to cross paths in Central Park. Not likely. The beautiful woman from Kentucky and the handsome man from California ride the same subway in D.C. and fall in love. Maybe, but will your readers believe it?

My husband and I went on an eight day trip earlier this month. Dave caught the flu. I’ve been trying not to leave the house so I won’t expose anyone else. I didn’t develop the flu (probably because as soon as I got back I visited my doctor who put me on Tamiflu and gave me a flu shot), but I have gotten a cold. My Christmas shopping has stopped and I had not done much before we left. And I seriously need to go to the grocery store.

Yesterday I received a box from my fabulous cousin in Tennessee. Every year she sends something. This year it was boxes of fruit – apples, pears and oranges. We had no fruit in the house except for a wrinkled apple. I immediately ate a pear and this morning had an orange. Now that’s a coincidence.

The fruit arriving was real. But I wouldn’t put a character in dire need of a weapon and, voila, the gun he ordered two months ago arrives. Even if you did set it up, the reader would not accept such a divine coincidence.

I’m glad they happen in real life, though. I’m having an orange for lunch.

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