I used to commute on the train on a daily basis. There was a lot of waiting involved. One day I wrote three hundred words about a man waiting for a train where nothing happened but the ticking of his watch, the beads of sweat running down his back, his dishelved appearance and his insistence that somehow time had been wasted and used wrongly. We never found out anything else in this little fragment.
I came back to the story many years later and turned it into a faux-victoriana time travelling tale.
I have to admit, we don’t find out a helluva lot more in this later version, but there’s enough to hint at a larger story, one that is self contained in its paradox.
That was just fine, as far as I was concerned, for something that was written while waiting for a train. Pleasing, even.