BUT, you can use it!
Good writing–the stuff that engages your readers and has them return to read you again and again–requires that characters be believable, admirable, plausible and entertaining. And, of course, your plot needs to meet that criteria, too.
Now, I’m sure I’m not alone when I tell you that more than one of my manuscripts has been nixed by an editor or agent, because the premise or a scene/chapter was just too coincidental to be believable. I have to laugh thinking back to those comments, because every day I’m just amazed at how much more bizarre fact is over fiction.
Case in point: A young man who stole his father’s Oxycodone prescription from home, trekked into the city on the bus, to meet a buyer for the pills. He met with two men who paid him for the pills, but instead of “honoring” the deal, he took their money and fled, pills still in his possession. Running full speed up the street, looking over his shoulder one time too many, Drug Dealer crashed into the back of a man who was fleeing the bank he’d just robbed. Both men ended up sprawled on the sidewalk dazed and just a little confused. They were arrested without incident. I almost felt sorry for Bank Robber on this one.
So, the next time someone tells you that your scene is just too wacky to be believable, ask them if they’ve ever watched the six o’clock news. Or better yet, ask them if they’ve ever read Evanovich.
Now there’s a gal that knows how to ram zanny and unbelievable right down her reader’s throats – and we can’t get her books fast enough!