I recently heard the comment that the difference between fiction and real life is that fiction is supposed to make sense. Considering the randomness of falling branches on my car, I’d have to agree with that statement.
If this is true, then how does this inform my writing? Several years ago I took a course in semiotics. The premise is that dramas, like Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard, is filled with symbols that represent specific meaning. At the time I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It proved there was an elegant balance in fiction and drama. Everything that occurs is purposeful.
Now I wonder if that’s entirely realistic. Would it not be more accurate to write stories that more accurately reflect the randomness of reality? That is of course, you’re writing in the genre of realism. Then again, randomness is what makes life so inconvenient, so momentous, so meaningful.
I’m currently writing a series of parables. The events and symbols are meaningful to the moral of the story. If the story moves to a consequential conclusion, is a genuine randomness even possible?