COW: How random is random in writing

writer-1-150x150So I’ve been reading craft of writing books lately and I’ve been editing. Mainly, I’ve been reading books on structure and scenes. Reread a couple of my craft books I had on my Nook as well as in print. A few things caught me this time which I hadn’t noticed before. This is what happens when you review regularly– new things catch your eyes and mind, which help your growth as a writer. The thing that stood out is that in real life– random things DO happen. However, in fiction– that’s just not allowed but very rarely. Everything is noted and plotted out beforehand. *puts up hand* Now, before you pansters out there have a hissy fit, even you, who don’t plot, know there must be conflict for your characters to learn, grow, and eventually achieve their goals. Otherwise, it would be the most boring tale known to mankind. Yet, it’s true- we can’t just have them catch a cold because it just happens. It happens because Martha, their cubicle mate was sick with pneumonia, which she caught because her abusive ex-husband was stalking her and chased her outside last week, when our hero helped her out and chased the ex away with a baseball bat, etc. See what I mean? Planned. Not random– it happened just because it did. Blew my mind away– Poof! I had a late night “Come to the Writing Gods” moment with that revelation. Wasn’t pretty.  Continue reading