The general rule of thumb when writing is that you are allowed only one coincidence per story. Coincidentally, any more and the story becomes unbelievable.
Coincidences are often used by lazy writers to tie up loose ends.
The other day my daughter took her fluffy toy tiger, Tiger Iger to school. She arrived home in tears after Tiger Iger had disappeared during lunch time. “Well.” She said. “After lunch I thought Tanya had my Tiger Iger but it was her tiger. It looked just like mine.” Tiger Iger is a fairly unusual soft toy and personally I can’t imagine there being another toy just like it. That would be a large coincidence. The next day I told my daughter to ask Tanya (a child from a different class) if she might be mistaken. No, it was definitely hers. The tears continued and my wife bought a new Tiger from the internet.
In the meantime my daughter had told her teacher about her loss. The teacher also thinking it was too much of a coincidence took the tiger off of Tanya and gave it to my daughter.
That evening when my daughter arrived home she showed me the toy. Now I’m no expert but it looked a little different to my daughter’s toy. I was sure that Tiger Iger was smaller. “Tanya must have spilled something on it because it’s got a pink stain on its face.” My daughter told me. I looked at the stain and the stain was very old, the tiger’s eyes were all scratched and I was now pretty sure this wasn’t my little girl’s toy. I got a sudden mental image of Tanya crying all weekend because her childhood toy had been stolen from her.
“Funny, but I found a tiger just the same only smaller outside of my classroom on the floor, and I gave it to Tanya.” My daughter said. “Are you sure that wasn’t your tiger?” I asked. “Another girl said it was hers but Tanya said it was definitely hers.”
When my wife arrived home she confirmed that the tiger was not my daughters. We tried to get Tanya’s mum’s number through the other mothers but had no luck. It would have to wait ’till Monday for our apologies. On Sunday we all went to one of ten local parks with the kids and their bikes. “Dad, Dad, Tanya’s here. this is Tanya.” My daughter hollered with delight. It was the little girl from school. What a coincidence. we explained to her parents that there had been a mistake and they were OK with it.
Come Monday the tiger was returned to it’s rightful owner and apart from my daughter not having Tiger Iger everything was as it should be.
That day there was a child who had lost the same toy tiger on facebook. Thousands of people had LIKED the article in the hope of somehow finding the boy’s lost toy.
The new tiger has arrived in the post and hopefully that will put an end to the coincidences.