Stories rely on a certain amount of coincidence to provide that crucial ‘what would happen if?’ Whether it’s a chance meeting of characters in the rain or witnessing an event, these things have an element of luck, which move the plot on. Be warned, however, readers are far more suspicious of coincidence in books, than they are in life. Truth is definitely stranger than fiction.
There are rules, when it comes to coincidence in fiction. Too many coincidences and the story feels contrived and the reader feels cheated. I like the tips given at Helping Writers Become Authors and especially this one – use coincidence to get a character into trouble, but never to get them out. Foreshadowing can help that coincidence become a convincing turning point in the plot, so take a look at your WIP (work in progress) and try laying some groundwork before that long lost cousin appears with all the answers.
Your writing prompt: Think of the most unlikely coincidence and use foreshadowing to make it an inevitable plot point.