To illustrate my point, I've taken to hand modeling. Only instead of showing how soft my hands are after using a certain dish soap, I posed in the craziest ways possible.
(Clearly, I have led the life of a bona fide HAND MODEL.)
Crazy, right? But as you can see, also TOTALLY REAL. (Different length fingernails and all.) HOWEVER, if I were to sketch any of these poses, even if I got them completely right, you'd think I was a crap artist, right? Because really, it wouldn't look correct at all.
Which brings me to my theory.
Just like some landscapes (or crazy hands) wouldn't be believable in a painting,
some things that happen in real life wouldn't be believable in a book.
We work REALLY HARD to make things believable in our books, right? We set things up like crazy, foreshadow, and bring out the parts of our characters' personalities that need to be brought out before certain scenes. That way, when we have larger-than-life scenes/issues/conflicts, they feel right. Like the book just wouldn't be perfect without it. We might want it to surprise our reader, but at the same time, we want it to have felt inevitable the whole time.
In real life, everything is set up, foreshadowed, and personalities are completely developed. And some things STILL don't seem believable! So I guess it's not surprising that real-life things a lot of times don't work when we transfer them to a book.
Have you ever tried to add a real-life crazy story in your manuscript (or read one in a novel), and found that it just really didn't work? I'm not talking about the normal, true-to-life things, but the crazy can-you-believe-that-just-happened things. Do you think there can be a place for them if you set it up right?