As I’ve mentioned before, relying on luck for the main characters in your story can be seen as lazy writing, and yet one of the greatest selling books of all time (The Hobbit) frequently mentions its main character’s “extraordinary good luck”.
So what’s a writer to do? How lucky should your main characters be?
It’s okay to utilize a few lucky breaks. Now, there are some purists who might call out any stroke of luck as poor writing, but ignore this. Luck is involved in real life from time to time, so why not in your books? Honestly, never allowing your protagonists to be aided by a strike of good fortune is more unrealistic than the occasional lucky break!
In Her Name Was Abby, the soon-to-be-released sequel to His Name Was Zach, there is a scene where Abby catches a couple of lucky breaks while in a dangerous situation. Could I have tried to plot it out so that there was a rational explanation for every single part of this scene? Sure!
But that’s not how it works in real life. Sometimes you survive a scary incident or encounter by nothing but sheer luck.
That said, I would suggest not using luck as a driving mechanism in the main plot. In the aforementioned scene in my book, it’s not a pivotal part of the main plot line, so I felt like I had some wiggle room in which to work.
Also be wary of utilizing luck too often. At some point there does need to be a plan of some kind, something that is deliberately moving the story along.
Readers, what do you think of god luck in books? Where do you draw the line? And fellow writers, do you utilize luck in your writing or stay away from it? Let me know in the comments!