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During a recent road trip, I became aware that I was seeing the passing scenes in threesomes. Three geese. Three picnic tables. Three goats. Why wasn’t I noticing foursomes and twosomes? My mind roamed around until I found my answer–the power of three I’d learned in writing classes. How a repetition of three–words, short sentences, examples, questions, etc.–can be used effectively for emphasis.

rest areaReviewing my books on writing, I could not find an author to quote on the topic. So I turned to the web and found Two Writing Teachers on WordPress. About a year ago, they discussed the relevance to writing of the power of three. Check out their discussion. (Thanks Ruth and Stacey!)

It’s interesting to me how a small tidbit of information can get stuck in one’s mind. Once I started snapping pictures of threesomes, I became obsessed. When I spotted two stately silos (if that’s the right descriptor!) that stood majestically in a field against a backdrop of clear blue, I glued my nose to the passenger window; I wanted to find the same picture with three silos. Like the catchiness of Elizabeth Gilbert’s title–Eat Pray Love–three silos in a row would have made my day.

Instead, we soon passed farmland and headed back into Chicago. There, I sought out city-ish threesomes: any three buildings that I could frame. No success. Any three signs that I could catch together. No success. Any three black cars that were close enough to capture. No success.

It’s fun to write in threes. Try it. Or take pictures.