Running into people from your long distance past or who have crazy ties to you isn’t abnormal. That’s not to say it happens every day. But it does happen.
“Small world” moments in my life are even more pronounced now, with Facebook and LinkedIn, where we can quickly and easily see the people we know who our friends know, as well. I can’t count the number of times I’ve overhead or participated in a conversation that began with, “And how do you know _____?” or “Oh my gosh! You know ________!”
But it happens in other situations, too.
My Favorite “Small World” Story
In high school, I worked in a candy shop, Fannie May. I loved that job. Once, I had this family of four from Colorado come in. We talked for a few minutes, they told me what they wanted and asked if it would stay cold for their flight back to Colorado. I said it should be fine and offered some suggestions about keeping it cool. Then, I asked where in Colorado they live, since I have family there. They said they lived in a suburb of Denver. I said, “My aunt, uncle and cousins live in a Denver suburb, too. Highlands- Highlands something?”
“Highlands Ranch?” asked the woman.
“Yes! That’s it!”
They asked me for my family’s names. Turned out they were next-door-neighbors. Really.
Personal Stories: It’s a Small World
What stories do you have about it being a small world? How can you use these real-world coincidences to enhance your story or challenge your character? How would he feel if, 500 miles from home, he runs into his high school nemesis? Or she runs into her high school boyfriend? Or he ran into a former boss, years later. Or she ran into the guy who teased her mercilessly and he doesn’t recognize her? Or he runs into the first grade teacher he had a crush on?
How do they act? What do they do? If nothing else, what does this tell you about your character?
The World: Growing Smaller
The internet and social media are making the world much smaller. We can easily “meet” people from different cultures and find people who have a different way of living. We can interact with people from all around the world with just a few clicks of the button? What does that mean for you as an author? What does it mean as you write? How does being “global” affect you?