Writing Wednesday: The Details Are the Devil

After discussing my difficulties with keeping my universes straight (well, with myself it’s discussing – with the rest of you reading the blog, it’s just one hand writing. There’s no discussion – unless, of course, you choose to comment, which would be welcome, BTW), I decided on a process (I always have to have a process) to help me keep it straight.

  1. Instead of writing just one story for a series, and then writing several from other universes before I return, I’ll write three in a row. This will help with continuity (not having to change gears), as well as the flow of my writing (I will only have to review the series one third as often.)
  2. For each universe, I will create a spreadsheet to help keep track of characters (and their CHARACTERistics), geographical info, organizations or groups, technology, and any other pertinent information. This will prevent me from having to search through all the preceding stories to avoid contradicting myself.

I decided to begin with my Detective Jimmy Delaney series – “The Scent of the Crime” (Jimmy #4) was completed a mere two months ago, and is still making its way around the markets. It’s pretty fresh in my mind, so I’ve started going through the first four stories, with an eye to picking out details to itemize in my Jimmy Delaney Universe spreadsheet, and…
Remember how I said in another posting that detail is NOT among my strong points? I’m reading through “In A Flash”, and then “Mixed Signals” watching for, as an example, hair color, and I discover that even though I have very specific images of these characters in my mind, I can find very few places where I mention hair color at all (I’m more than halfway through “Mixed Signals” and have only found three times where I mention hair – and one of those was “balding.”
Now – I know part of the reason behind this. Somewhere I read that it’s possible to get bogged down
Also, I have a theory about what gives a story or song universal appeal – it has to address something deeper than surface appearance. And anything that tells your reader that the character doesn’t look like them puts distance between them and the important part of the story. Let’s face it, the reader brings their own life experiences into the reading, and no matter how good you think you are at writing description, the reader is NOT seeing the same thing you envisioned when you wrote it. Knowing this, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of point to being THAT descriptive.
Or maybe I’m just lazy.
Seriously, though – how much do I want to control what the reader sees, when what I really want is to make them FEEL? And in short fiction, you should only write what the story really NEEDS, and a person’s hair color doesn’t deserve attention unless it’s significant.
In a series, though?
I know this much – there should be some semblance of what I’m seeing manifesting on the page – especially with as much time as a series requires of both the writer AND the reader. I’m going to start being more descriptive in my series (it’ll be a good warm-up for when I get back to my Swordsmaster (my NOVEL) which I KNOW will need lots of description.
Just saying…


BurialDetailsCoverThe preorder campaign has begun for “Burial Details”:

Be sure to bury your charges deep.
An old farmer, scraping by after the Sahrian invasion, buries his most precious treasures to hide them from the aliens’ “salvation”.

When I first started writing this one, all I had in mind was the single line “They’re all buried now.” I hope you enjoy finding out what it’s about as much as I did.
Release date is April 8th, but you can preorder now at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at all the usual places, including (but not limited to):
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/624585?ref=NoTimeToThink
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Burial-Details-William-Mangieri-ebook/dp/B01DAG52WG


This week’s Smashwords coupon is for “Riding the Devil”:RidingTheDevilCover_Smashwords

With his town running from one strange frontier to another as they elude their alien abductors, Aaron Walker is forced to risk all to save the town and fulfill his destiny.

“Riding The Devil” is a science fiction / fantasy story with a western steampunk flavor, based loosely on a dream (and oddly, not my own.) Use coupon code KD74Q to get 67% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until March 26th. Here’s the link:
“Riding the Devil” is also available in my second collection, aptly titled: More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND.


William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePub “The Pipes”, can be found in many places, including:
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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