Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Real vs Believable

There aren't many rules that writers know instinctively not to break but NO COINCIDENCES is one of them. Coincidences are cheating and not allowed as a method of moving the plot forward. Too bad, because life if full of them.

For instance, police officer Andy Flitton, has the unlikely distinction of giving a speeding ticket to the same man, in two different countries (Britain and New Zealand), two years apart. Officer Flitton had this to say: "We must have some sort of connection. He only ever broke the law twice and both times I was the one to give him a ticket."

The bottom line is that plot and characters and settings have to be believable, not realistic. A fine distinction that opens up a world of possibilities. Consistency in the characters' qualities and what building the sun rises over achieves believability. Coincidence does not.

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