Surprise Trails #IWSG

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome Co-Hosts feature fabulous writing friends Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner!

Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 


Writing is like a tree. We begin with a seed, one sentence, one powerful image, and we plant that strong seed in the earth and nurture it. A trunk emerges from the earth touched in wind, rain and sunshine. A network of branches forms and leaves shiver in the wind and rustle alive, tipped in light.

This month’s IWSG question asks: “Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you’d forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

Hemingway answers the question best: “write one true sentence.”

From that sentence the mind does this amazing creative thing. Our characters come alive. Sometimes they grow their own legs and walk away on their own. So I guess in my own roundabout way, I say yes. Writing is always a surprise.

But I do always start with the ending, so most times, that part doesn’t surprise me 🙂

Happy IWSG Day. Sorry to be brief, but this month has been wildly busy! May your month bring you something wonderful.

About Erika Beebe

Author, dreamer, and a momma to a couple of wonderful kids, I try to live life everyday in hope and inspire others along my way.

Posted on August 7, 2019, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. That one sentence is the beginning of it all.

  2. That is good advice. When I get stuck, I ask myself what comes next. What one simple sentence do I need to write next. That often helps move things forwards.

  3. I always begin with the endings as well!

  4. Jennifer Lee Hawes

    It usually starts with one good “what if” question. Love the quote! Starting with the ending in mind is always the best route.

  5. Well said. I have that experience to, that my stories always surprise me. Sometimes, it’s like writing down someone else’s story!

  6. I start with an emotion, rather than character or setting. But then, I have an outline and only a general ending. 😉

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  7. Elizabeth Seckman

    grow their own legs…love it. You and that Hemingway- clever critters. 🙂

    The start of the book always feels so clinical and forced until the characters start to feel real in my head.

  8. helenmatheyhornbooks

    I don’t (seldom) have the final ending in mind (maybe a general idea…you know…a happy ending) but I have occasionally started with one sentence or idea that just seemed really right for a beginning.

  9. I’ve had a couple of stories spawn from just a single sentence before. 🙂

    Hope you stay on top of things in your life!

  10. I love what Hemingway wrote, and he wrote a lot of true sentences as far as I’m concerned. I keep his style in my head when I sit down and stare at that empty page.

  11. The endings of my stories rarely surprise me. Instead, they give me troubles. I often know how a story starts, and what happens in the middle, but the endings elude me. Case in point: my latest short story. It’s complete. I even put it on wattpad, but I’m not happy with the ending, and I don’t know how to fix it. I guess I need a couple of beta readers to tell me what is wrong.

  12. You start with the ending? I’ve never thought of that! I think I might find that hard to do though, as I’m a pantser and don’t usually discover the ending until after I’ve written the story. 🙂

  13. As much as I try, it’s rare I know any of my endings until they are on top of me.

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