Pants Disaster: What Pants Can Teach You About Dealing With Ideas That Don’t Work

How was your weekend? Mine was the normal shopping-trip-newspapers-comics-crosswords style, except that I bought another two pairs of pants (I guess I was so excited about having a few pairs of pants that didn’t look like chew toys that I got carried away. Either that, or it was because I got two pairs for a little less than $17).

Turns out I was to be disappointed on the clothing front. I tried the pants on and they were tight around my hip area, but they seemed loose around the waistband (which made it even weirder).

My point? Other than trying things on before you buy them (if possible–which it wasn’t here), expect the unexpected. I didn’t, so I was kinda bummed. It never occurred to me that pants that were exactly my size would fit so horribly.

Sometimes you need to go in a different direction in your fiction and copy too. I know it’s cliche, but if it ain’t working, shelve it and use parts of what isn’t working (dialogue, a subject line, or an only-okay P.S.) for another story, email, or what-have-ya. Don’t throw those ideas completely away, but don’t force things, either, like a pair of pants that don’t fit at all. If your character would work better in a different story, shuffle them over there–or make them a character in their own story, if they’re playing second on the story you have them in now.

If a P.S. won’t work, can you turn it into a benefit in the body of your copy, or something else? Work with the kernel of the idea if the actual way you wrote things at first feels off.

As far as the pants go, at least I can still get my money back–which I’ll be doing when I go out next. If I could cash in my ideas just like that, that would be cool. But nobody’s invented a service to instantly turn ideas that don’t fit a project into quick cash–without repurposing them, that is. If it becomes as easy to do as returning something with a receipt, I’ll be there.

Until next time,



About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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2 Responses to Pants Disaster: What Pants Can Teach You About Dealing With Ideas That Don’t Work

  1. hah:) i wish getting new ideas and changing them out was so easy!

    • Ty Mall says:

      Thanks for dropping by, Introvert. In my opinion, shelving something that doesn’t work is the easy part. Figuring out where or if it fits into something else is, well, something else.

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