Tendrils and Vines

Do you ever just write? No plan, no overarching idea, no goal; just start scribbling?

I’m sure we all do. Most of those instances, at least for me, just result in throwaways. They’re more to engage in the act than actual usable items. Sometimes, they find some fertile soil in the back of the mind, burrow in there, and bloom in the dark like toadstools, coming back as something more concrete and usable. Most times they just die.

But there’s a third option, and it is by far my favorite. Sometimes those little throwaways, while not destined to be stories in their own right, have ties to something else you’re working on. Your subconscious, kicking up messages in a bottle to show the pathways and secret crannies of some other story. They bury their roots in the hidden cracks that you didn’t know where there in a story that you tell yourself is your “serious” work, and fester there, spreading ivy-like vines through that tale that both decorate and strengthen.


I love when that happens. Or when you find ties between two stories you didn’t realize were actually taking place in the same world or touching on the same people; I suspect it’s a bit of my Stephen King fanboyism at work, the same mechanism that thrilled each time I found a callback to The Dark Tower in some other tome of the old master.

I’ve found more than a few of those links lately. Recent scribblings have told me that WokenBelieve MeSmoke & Mirrors and Anima Squared are actually all part of the same story, and given me some extras that I didn’t even realize needed to be fleshed out as I muddle through Believe Me and ponder where I intend to take Smoke & Mirrors when I finally set out to actually write it.

“Riptide” as well has found secret camaraderie with what at first seemed to be a throwaway, resolving one plot point that would otherwise have been left dangling. It pleases me.

What about you folks out there? Have you ever found those secret connections? When you did, did you mine them, or cast them aside? Regardless of which you chose, how did it work out for you?

Let us know down below, or share a story or a link to the result if you’re of a mind. Until next time!

KA Spiral no signature

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