An odd thing about writing…


So last week, I started writing something for the Three Word Wednesday prompt. It truly is one of my favorite prompt sites; the words challenge me and at the same time, they fit my fictional style. It’s a good match, me and Three Word Wednesday.

Last Thursday, as I usually do (and mentioned already), I started writing something. And then I ran out of time because I’d done a whole host of other things before making time for my writing (bad Susan!).

I’ve worked off and on on the piece since then, and I think I’ve reached its conclusion. It’s short, under six hundred words — and as I got to the end of the page, I realized that it’s not something I can use on the blog. I definitely can’t use it as a short story, either in an anthology or a literary magazine, and definitely not as a standalone.

It’s a bridge piece, one of those things you blurp out as you figure out the story that needs to be told. One of those pieces that’ll never see the light of day but becomes a scene so vital to the whole that it’s not wasted words at all.

Sometimes, as writers, we don’t give ourselves permission to write these sorts of exploratory scenes. We’re so focused on publication and getting books and submissions out that we lose sight of the twists and turns in the road. It’s not always a straight path between here and there, folks.

As with everything else, take some time to deviate off the shortest point. Let yourself meander down an unknown road. I bet your fiction will be better for it.

Mine certainly will be.



  1. G.G. Vandagriff

    March 21, 2013 12:54 pm

    Thoughtful post, Sooz, and one I needed to hear. I’ve had the experience of writing to a prompt and have it turn into the first few paragraphs of a novel. But mostly my pieces just stimulate my creativity, opening the door.

  2. petula

    March 22, 2013 10:05 am

    Exactly! I’m just learning this. I have a few manuscripts that are unfinished & I think had I know this then I would have finished at least one. This year I’ve committed to finishing a novel and thought I would pick up the most recent try and the favorite. Come to find out that the in between writing took me on a different path and have been learning a lot more about my character. It’s amazing to allow yourself to we in that way and maybe take a detour.

    Great post.

    • Susan

      March 22, 2013 10:14 am

      I’m glad to hear you’re writing again, lady! And to hear from you, too. It’s been too long. Holler if you need help or encouragement (or an editor!) along the way.

  3. Vada K. Belle

    March 24, 2013 2:28 am

    What a great post–these are things I really needed to hear. I’ve felt a little lost in a few projects lately, and I’ve found that I get so obsessed with meeting my wordcount but I want as many words as usable as possible so I actually skip scenes. Now I know, I am not crazy…I can write those scenes. They can be like seams…story seams that only I see. Or something better than that 🙂

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