Does this come off as a coincidence in my plot and can I fix it? - Page 2


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Thread: Does this come off as a coincidence in my plot and can I fix it?

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kehlida View Post
    In theory, you could argue that if your cop was not at the scene, you would not have a story to tell. Or it happened to be that cop who was thrust into the story because they ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time and turned it around for themselves.

    If it was a different cop on scene, then would the story be about them? There are many different routes this could go, and your cop being in the area is plausible.

    Plenty of real stories exist about off duty or undercover cops just going about their day at a roadside store when someone pulls a gun and tries to hold up the cashier only to get apprehended on scene. Convenient? Sure. A coincidence? Maybe. Possible? Absolutely.
    Oh okay that's true. Well, perhaps that the thing that makes it more of a coincidence in mine, is that the crime that is happening involves a crooked cop, so it's more of a coincidence in that sense, that what are the odds the MC would be in the right place and time, to witness a crime that a crooked cop, who he works in the same building with, is there also... He doesn't see the crooked cop from his POV, since I don't want to him find this till later, but maybe that makes it a bigger coincidence, or convenience to swallow maybe.

  2. #12
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    Being at the right place at the right time happens in real life, too. Isn't it the purpose of patrol, after all ?

    I think I'd try to find a detail in the scene everyone would see but only a good cop would understand.

  3. #13
    Oh okay thanks for the advice! Well I wrote it so that the cop spots guys in masks chasing another guy having just escaped from a house a few meters away and the cop spots a broken window in the house and investigates after he looses them in the chase. But I was told by a couple of readers so far that he feels that he was in the right place at the right time because he was right near the house though.

  4. #14
    However, I am told that it comes off as a coincidence or a convenience, beacause the MC happened to be at right place, at the right time, so the rest of the plot can happen, and it makes him more of a passive character to open him with as a result.
    This is the oldest complaints in the book and makes absolutely no sense. Don't take any notice. You've chosen the character BECAUSE this happened to them. Why pick a character that needs forcing into this situation?
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Oh okay thanks for the advice! Well I wrote it so that the cop spots guys in masks chasing another guy having just escaped from a house a few meters away and the cop spots a broken window in the house and investigates after he looses them in the chase. But I was told by a couple of readers so far that he feels that he was in the right place at the right time because he was right near the house though.
    Sounds good to me.

    I was wondering why I would think the coincidence is 'too much'. The only reason I found is that, maybe, what brought your MC here (the patrol) is not developed enough?

  6. #16
    Oh okay then. Well I wrote it from the villains point of view so as the villains break out into chasing a supporting character, after things go wrong, they come across a police patrol nearby in the chase. So I wrote it from the villains point of view. I could write it from the MC's point of view as well, while on patrol, but thought if I did that, it might come off as even more coincidental though.

  7. #17
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    Ah, okay... It's difficult to judge without reading the whole thing.
    If you think your text works as it is, maybe you should just ignore the complaint, like TheMightyAz said.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Kensa View Post
    Being at the right place at the right time happens in real life, too. Isn't it the purpose of patrol, after all ?
    A couple weeks ago I hit a deer with my car, made a softball-sized dent in my bumper. If I had left my house even a minute earlier or later, I most likely wouldn't have even seen that deer, much less hit it. I didn't set out to run over a deer that day and the deer surely didn't plan to be hit by an 5900 lb Toyota traveling at 40 MPH. It was a case of right place at the right time, just as you say.

    So, Ironpony, I'm not sure why the idea of Right Place at the Right Time seems so unlikely. As has been stated, cops witness crimes while on patrol all the time. Maybe it would be a bit much if your MC witnessed the crime, saw a UFO, ran over Bigfoot, and met Bruce Willis all at the same time, but just being there when the crime happens is perfectly believable. I'm wondering if your test readers just have ridiculously bad OCD or something to make them look for meaning in every little thing.

  9. #19
    Coincidence is often what creates a good story. A plot or intrigue, something out of the ordinary happens because of a quirk of fate like right place right/wrong time. Besides the MC is a cop, they are trained to notice stuff that others miss, they are trained to look for the subtle tell, things that trigger instincts honed by experience. From your description I would move on.

  10. #20
    Thank you very much for the points made. Good points. I think maybe the readers so far see it as convenience maybe because the police happen to stumble onto the crime by accident and get a luck break, rather than being forced to use more challenging investigation methods perhaps.

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