Creativity / goals / ideation / writing

Meandering Monday about Staying on Message

(That’s an oxymoronic title, isn’t it?)

In political campaigns, one of the hardest things to do is stay on message. So many things happen, so many distracting questions, and if a candidate isn’t careful he loses control of his message – is derailed by silliness and other people’s agendas. People are expecting you to talk about National Security, or the Deficit, and instead you’re talking about the size of someone’s hands. You lose people.

Writing a story can be that, especially as it gets longer. It’s really easy to stay on message with a flash fiction – I mean, you don’t have enough time or words to get distracted. A short story is a little harder – characters and sub-plots start sneaking in and try to take over the flow. And your reader starts wondering why these other things are there, and wanders away with them. Aimless can sell in very short bursts, but eventually your audience has an expectation that it will make some sort of sense. If it doesn’t, you lose them.

Every so often, it’s a good idea to revisit WHY you are doing something (and “because that’s the way I’ve always done it DOESN’T cut it.) This blog, for instance; the overall purpose is mercenary – I’m trying to increase my online presence and draw traffic to my fiction. So far that seems to be working. Now, each day of the week has a different purpose – thus the titles. I need to be careful to stay within those titles – for example, if WRITING WEDNESDAY is instead about Brexit, then a reader who was just interested in reading about WRITING will stop short (and may not even click the link on the next WRITING WEDNESDAY.

Just like when you write in a particular genre, the reader has an expectation, and if something gets in the way of fulfilling it you may lose them. Of course, you can adjust those expectations – find ways to tie Brexit into writing, say, so it still fits the mode.

Of course, it’s hard not to be distracted while I’m meandering, but even that meandering is ultimately supposed to be about something, and if it’s not then oooh, look at the shiny object is not very fulfilling.

Just saying…


Collection7eBookCoverI’m participating in Smashwords’ site-wide Summer/Winter Sale promotion – for the month of July, all of my collections are 50%-off with a coupon (the coupons is listed on the individual page for each book – it’s SSW50 in case you have trouble finding it.) The coupon applies to my seven OUT OF MY MIND collections, plus my Herc Tom Collection Cats of War I and the Detective Jimmy Delaney collection Broken Down.

All can be found on my Smashwords author page (listed below), or you can find the individual links on yesterday’s Selling Saturday posting by clicking HERE.


Once again a publication deadline approaches. In 18 days I will need to publish something – either “Obsolete” or “The Scent of the Crime.” Stay tuned…


William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest Publication More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND, can be found in many places, including:



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