How to Handle Coincidence and Avoid Red Herrings in Story

Season #2 Episode #35


See the main points for this episode below. Or DOWNLOAD FULL TRANSCRIPTS FOR FREE on the podcast page of our website. 

EPISODE DESCRIPTION - Today, I'm switching gears to share some of the aha moments that I have had as a writer or screenwriter. The very first one is: You only get one coincidence per story. 

Your story should unfold according to the choices that your main character makes. Everything that happens in the story should be intentional, as a result of your character driving the action of the story through his or her choices. But coincidence eliminates that possibility. If something happens coincidentally, it means that the character had no control over it. Therefore, we question their heroism or their value or their abilities to even solve whatever it is that they're trying to solve over the course of the story. Coincidence undermines your character's personal power.

In addition to handling coincidence correctly, you also want to be wary of planting too many false clues in the story. This means that everything that you write about should play into the narrative in some way. There can be nothing superfluous or unneeded in story. Everything must be important to plot of the story you're telling. 


UP NEXT - Next week, we will two more aha moments, which will immediately solve story problems you could be having. 


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 SPECIAL THANKS - The Storyteller’s Mission with Zena Dell Lowe would like to thank composer CARLA PATULLO for the original music she graciously permits us to use in the intro and outro of this podcast. To find out more about this amazing talent, go to 

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