What is ‘fuzz’ in writing?

Fuzz refers to an element of motivation which the author forgot to supply. Perhaps they meant to come back later to add more detail, but didn’t.

The word “somehow” is an automatic tip-off to fuzzy areas of a story. “Somehow she forgot to clean her gun.”

That said, bad writing can be used for comic effect.

I use the fuzz technique to comic effect in some Halloween microfiction: The giant candy corn had no arms and no legs but ‘somehow proffers a plate’.


The gables on this mansion cast a longer shadow than most.

“Maybe we should skip this place,” says my older brother.

I ignore him as usual and lead him by the hand.

We knock, knock, knock upon the door.

Creak, creak, creak, the maw opens.

A monster candy corn looms before us. The resemblance is uncanny. That striped and pointy body, sans face, sans limbs.

It somehow proffers a basket.

“We never said trick or treat,” says my brother, “and we don’t want whatever you got.”

“Don’t be rude,” I whisper, and I grab a tiny human for the both of us.