No Third Wheel Required

Stella opened the letter with great trepidation, scanned it with hopeful eyes, then sighed deeply. It was another rejection, which was somewhat expected, but what made her blood boil was the suggestion to include a love triangle to give her story more conflict and “excitement”. Ugh.

She didn’t need the presence of an overused trope to create unnecessary drama in a story that wasn’t even primarily a romance, but rather an action-adventure.

She also didn’t need to twist her story into what this particular silly publishing company considered more widely marketable. Not when the option of self-publishing was available.


This story was inspired by two different prompts.

First, this prompt from the Carrot Ranch Literary Community: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story being leashed. Is it literal or metaphorical? Who or what is leashed. How does it set the tone? Go where the prompt leads!

Second, this prompt from GirlieOnTheEdge’s Six Sentence Story challenge: presence

25 thoughts on “No Third Wheel Required

    1. Thanks, Tom. It’s good to have other options than just traditional publishing. It means that once I’m finally finished my debut novel, I know it’s getting published one way or another. My friend runs a small publishing company that is really specific in what they publish, and I’m hoping to publish with them, but otherwise, I’ll probably self-publish. Not sure if I’ll even attempt to get it traditionally published, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I knowww 😅
        Trying to get a foothold through the traditional channels is a long hassle & self-publishing means much more creative ownership in how your book finally looks and gets printed. Hope it all goes well with your friend’s publishing company! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I like how you included Stella’s reaction to the publishing company’s “advice.” Indie publishing will have less visibility in the market, but Stella won’t have to bend to their whims.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve also heard of publishing companies rejecting novels that they genuinely like because they weren’t “on trend” at the time, which to me is a very silly reason to not publish someone’s great story.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Still in search of the agent (high priest of traditional publishing) like the idea of indie, the thought of the necessary level os sustained energy required by that approach leaves cold. everything I see/read about what is required of a writer to put their work in front of readers is way daunting
    good Six

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hoping to go in the middle and get published by my friend’s small publishing company. They are quite particular about what they publish though, and look for stories that have high levels of creative world building, as well as quality writing. But if my story doesn’t match their brand, I at least know that there is another option.


      1. Yeah, I remember my son being shocked when he heard what a good guitar player John Mayer is.
        John’s a guy who made enough money by being commercial, that now he can what he wants, with pretty much whomever he wants. But you know he was also doing his true jam along the way…

        Liked by 1 person

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