Saturday, January 09, 2010

What A Coincidence!

In July before my senior year of college a close friend invited me to meet her cousin visiting from Texas. It was probably lust, rather than love at first sight but we spent every possible minute together and by the end of the week decided to get married. It was a whirlwind engagement - me in North Alabama, him in Texas, but in December of that same year we married.

The day before the wedding his mother and mine were in the kitchen getting acquainted. As they talked about their lives his mother mentioned living in Mobile, Alabama. How odd - we lived in Mobile when I was a child. When did they live there? The same time we did. Where did they live? A few blocks from us near my mother's cousin. The cousin that kept me when my mom helped out at my dad's work. Seems she also kept my fiancee while his mom worked. Putting the pieces together, our mothers finally remembered meeting all those years before. Turns out we played together when we were 5 years old. What a strange coincidence.

This week on the RWA Craft loop there's a discussion of coincidence. It seems the coincidences we experience in life are too unbelievable to use in a book. I don't know. Do you think it would work to have two kids play together, each move to a different part of the country only to meet and fall in love 15 years later? It sure was romantic.

Do you use coincidence in your writing or do you find it too unbelievable? Maybe truth really is stranger than fiction.


Carla Swafford said...

Nannette, I fight with this misconception in writing all the time. That's where good writing should help. If you explain enough without info dump, anything is believable. At least, that's my opinion. LOL!

I love coincidences in real life. I come across them all the time and yours is certainly romantic. :-)

Gwen Hernandez said...

What a great story! I think it's true that real-life coincidences can be stranger than fiction. It's hard to suspend disbelief in readers, but like Carla said, with good writing, I think it can be done.

Cari Hislop said...

I think real life is always stranger than fiction and fiction should be able to take anything we fold into it. Like your romance...meeting up with someone you forgot you knew and falling in love and getting married. Personally I think it would make a great book! Life often is a strange sequence of seemingly random coincidences though I don't think they are coincidences, but that's just me. I met my husband on line 12 years ago. He was the first man I wrote to...there was no picture or description of what he looked like he just had this short paragraph and he sounded like a really lovely person. It turned out that when he asked me what sort of men I found attractive...he was that man; bald, bearded, the right personality, the right height, the right age, funny teeth, English accent, smart, knew how to dress... It's as if I'd filled out an order form and he came in the post with batteries included. He's so lovely and so perfect for me.
Personally I don't think it was a coincidence...I think I've been friends with my husband forever.

Nannette Conway said...

Carla and Gwen, you're right - with good writing we can do anything. GOOD writing is the real challenge.

Cari, loved the story about your husband fitting your order form.

Jeanie said...

I think coincidence is one way God says, "Hey, I'm here," reminding us there is a waft and weave to our lives, a pattern too small to see. But He sees it. It's there all along, if we only look. So maybe coincidence aren't coincidences after all.

Nannette Conway said...

Jeanie, I love the idea of God "reminding us there is a waft and weave to our lives". Thanks for posting.

Callie James said...

I definitely agree with Jeanie. I see that all the time.

What great stories, guys! Sigh.

So romantic.

Christine said...

Great post and lovely story. Thanks for sharing!! And I can believe this for sure... life is so cool.

M.V.Freeman said...

That is wonderful!
For me, I think you can use it in writing, but you have to motivate it.

Still they do say true life is stranger than fiction at times...:)

I think your story is so romantic!