I bring to you my first ever discussion post here. I’ll be talking about what I think and I’m ready to be proven wrong by anyone who has a different opinion on that subject. I’ll be doing a discussion whenever I think I’ve an idea coming or anything that is not talked about before in the blogging community.
So let’s start. Today’s topic is- ‘Coincidence’.
The basic meaning of ‘Coincidence’ in a dictionary is something like this- ‘what happens when two similar things occur at the same time’. And it also means ‘occurrence of any event apparently by chance’. This idea of things happening out of pure luck or fate or destiny is portrayed by many books.
Sometimes this portrayal seems forced and unrealistic. But in some cases it is helpful too. Like, for example, how would the boy and girl meet after, maybe, 10 years? They go to a mall and there they are, both under the same roof, and look they saw each other and they began talking and they decided to meet again tomorrow. You saw what happened? Simply because the author wanted the main characters to meet without any prior decisions, just out of luck, he/she used ‘Coincidence’.
Though it may not look too forced at once, but when the author overdoes it, it seems a bit irritating (especially to those who don’t believe in destiny, fate or luck!)
Let’s take another example, and this time I’ll take up the whole story. Imagine our main character as a young boy of 15 years. He is a nerd and very clumsy and often the laughing stock of the school. He likes the most popular girl in school. He tries various methods to get her to like him. All fails. Then he crashes at her birthday party, she gets really angry and tells him to get out. They don’t talk to each other. The end.
Pretty boring, right? Where’s the story? Wait for it.
Then 15 years pass, and they both are 30, unmarried and living in different cities. Suddenly, the boy gets a job offer to work at a higher post in another city. He goes there, and guess what? The girl works in the same office. They meet. They talk. The boy doesn’t care much but the girl now feels for him. She tells him, he accepts he too secretly liked her all these years. The end.
Now which ending is better? I’m sure everyone will pick the second one. That’s because it has some content. It’s not blank and the author does have something to offer about their story. From this point of view, having a minor coincidence seems good, actually better for the novel. But when someone overdoes it?
Let’s take one more example. A boy and girl meet. They are very happy with each other. The girl decides she wants to focus on her career and decides to leave the country. The boy agrees and both go their separate ways. They meet again 5 years later but they’re with different people now. They talk and they separate again. After a year, the girl gets a wedding card from the boy. He’s going to get married. The girl weeps but doesn’t do anything. The boy gets divorced but the girl doesn’t know this. They meet yet again. They realize they have feeling for each other.
You get the point, right? This is what I mean when I talk about ‘excess-coincidence’. And some of you, who have read ‘One Day’ will partially agree with me. No offence, I do like One Day as a whole but when looking at it, it does seems…not right. I mean, I get it the author tries to spice things up and does not want a happy ending directly. But spiraling the readers through a maze of incidences which are far too unreal to happen, how is that even good?
But I don’t hate coincidences; it’s just that I don’t like them either, when used carelessly. Maybe showing that the main character search up the telephone directories to find out the phone number of the person he is finding, or talking to neighbors to find out more about them or maybe do something to reach a particular spot seems good and more original to me rather than showing characters as helpless lovers or lucky people.
It’s just what I think about it. It’s not necessary that we all sail in the same boat.
Do you think different? Have you got any good reasons to make me believe that coincidence is great? Then comment below and let me know about it. who knows I’ll start believing in ‘bookish coincidences’ again?!