The other day I said something superstitious, and a friend called me on it. She reminded me that a negative "pattern" of events, which was causing me some anxiety, was in fact coincidental.
I don't know
if writers are more superstitious than people in general, but we have
reason to be. It's because in everything we write, patterns are meaningful, they do lead somewhere important. Destiny is at work. If something is random or irrelevant, we are trained to take it out of the story.
so we are used to the idea that every detail has significance. We
expect foreshadowing. We anticipate the dropping of the other shoe. The
gun over the mantel has to go off. Et cetera. But in life, things
do happen randomly and haphazardly--or at least, if there is a design,
it doesn't come in the same neat compact size as our stories do. It
sprawls over much more territory.
Story is a distillation of
life, a more organized and orderly version with theme included.
Sometimes I forget that and expect life to act like a story. The fact
that it doesn't can be disappointing, but often it's a blessing!