But the reasons were not explained. Needless to say, I was disappointed and felt cheated that the author had simply used these devices as a cheap way to resolve a dilemma within the plot.
Both Serendipity and Co-incidence are unavoidable in fiction. But an excess of both provokes incredulity in the reader’s mind. The reader will wonder how and why the protagonist is getting lucky time and again. Excess of both can also lead to the story getting bogged down by being syrupy and sticky.
Many times I have used both serendipity and co-incidence to resolve issues in the first draft. I always make it a point to go over these and tweak them into scenes that depend less on these devices. And if by chance I do overlook them, then I have my two amazing crit partners to catch my flaws.
I feel if we writers follow the cause and effect theory we can turn both serendipity and co-incidence into devices which work in favour of our stories rather than against our stories. There has to be a reason for every action of the character. Relying on reasons we can dispense with incredulity. Even fantasy fiction has to have its basis in believability.
Have you ever encountered serendipity and co-incidence in stories you have read? What have you felt about it? Have you personally resorted to using these devices? What is your opinion about it?