When Stories Misbehave

Our heroine has been flummoxed for a few weeks now, dear Reader. A story has taken her imagination hostage. It also refuses to fit into the format for which it was intended: a piece of flash fiction for #FridayFlash.

Oh, I’d write it joyfully enough. I was happy with how it fleshed out. One problem: I’d look at the wordcount and despair. No matter how I wrote it, it wouldn’t fit in the 1k limit for #FridayFlash. If I stripped it down, the story would lose too much. I put it aside, thinking I’d begin the editing of one of my novels.

Uhm. No. The story wouldn’t let me free. It wove science fiction thoughts around my imagination. As you can imagine, it made editing a romantic suspense novel rather difficult.

I seemed to have reached mental vapor lock.

We’ve all had stories misbehave. Subplots which attempt to take over the main plot. Characters who insist on going down avenues we’d never considered. Mushy middles. Beginnings which don’t grab attention. The deer in the headlights feeling of not knowing exactly how to end the piece, regardless of format.

What do we do when it happens? I’m here to tell you: do not stop. Don’t let the misbehavior win. Keep on writing, no matter what. “But no, what if it’s horrible?” your subconscious asks. Then it’s horrible, you delete it and put something better in its place. If you have to do that four or seven times, keep on writing.

Momentum is a wonderful thing. My evil, wicked story will not win. I will write it in all its glory, letting it take as many words as needed. So what if it’s not a flash? I need it to be written.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll be able to edit that novel afterwards.


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2 thoughts on “When Stories Misbehave

  1. johannaharness April 23, 2011 at 6:40 pm Reply

    I can relate to this. Sometimes that story has to be cleared from the books.


    • Jessica Rosen April 29, 2011 at 11:36 am Reply

      I love it: “cleared from the books.” So apt and a fun pun. Thanks.

      Take care,


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