Yesterday, Jane ran a blog challenge in which she invited everyone to write a pitch for their blog in 25 words. Goodness, what a lot of blogging bloggers there are out in Blogdom! It was great fun and often highly amusing but the real value was in the networking potential as most of us don't have Sam Gamgee by our side ready to carry us over rocky bits. Jane's challenge was a particularly sweet coincidence as far as I was concerned because I had just asked all my students to write a pitch for their work in order to be included in the term's anthology. How they groaned! I suggest that the louder the groan and resistance, the more valuable is the exercise. To reduce a piece of work to a sentence or two and then expect it to explode on impact is, well, challenging.
What can explode on impact is the plot device that involves coincidence. Carole Blake deplores coincidence full stop, citing it as being something that does happen in real life but rarely works in fiction. Oh dear. I have a coincidence in my novel. It isn't central to the plot by any means and doesn't involve my hero escaping in a handy helicopter when he's on the run and oh, what a good thing he had those helicopter flying lessons years ago...sorry, that's ridiculous isn't it?Nobody would do that. What? Dan Brown?