BTW – For the sake of keeping consistency in my two series, I decided it was best to write them in a group rather than letting non-series stories get in the middle of my thinking and disturb the flow. This has worked for the most part – I’m currently going though revisions on Detective Jimmy Delaney (DJD) #5 (“Killing Them Softly”) and #6 (“Hard Times”), and I’m not that far from #4 (“The Scent of the Crime”) so that it feels like all three are more consistent with each other than they would have been if I had written them a year or more apart.
I never write a story to a particular word length – the story determines its own length. The further I get into my series, though, the longer the stories get in general (due, I’m sure, to the readily available characters, settings, and other elements in the series’ expanding universe.) The last three DJD stories have each been over 13,000 words. This doesn’t matter if I decide to ePublish, but when I am submitting to markets it becomes very limiting; it’s rare to find a market that will consider something over 10,000 words. As it happens, in this particular genre (crime/mystery) I have two that MIGHT consider 12,000 or so, but it still isn’t an easy sell.
Which brings me to one the hardest things for me to do as a writer: REVISION. I know that revision is a necessary part of the process – aside from trying to fit within a market’s guideline, there is also the short story rule (I think established by Edgar Alan Poe) that EVERY word in short fiction MUST contribute to the story’s goals, or be thrown out.
What? – my brain rebels – It took me all this time and effort to put those words down and NOW I have to trash them?
I have a personal investment in that effort, and it seems almost heretical to destroy those words. I can avoid it sometimes, especially when the story is shorter (it’s less likely I’ve included extraneous words, and the story will be within the guidelines of more publications), but as the story gets longer, it is naturally more likely that something has crept in there that needs to be removed. This is where I find myself in DJD – I’m giving the stories extra scrutiny because I have the additional incentive of market guidelines to reduce the word count (with my personal inhibitions about killing my words, I can use all the motivation I can fabricate.)
Hopefully, this will be good practice for when I get back to Swordsmaster later this year (you KNOW I’ll have lots more dead wood to cut from what’s bound to be an 80,000 or more word novel.)
Why is it there? Does it fulfil the purpose? Rip it out (easy for you to say.)
I’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 16 days I will need to publish something – either “Obsolete” or “The Scent of the Crime.” I’m killing my preorder runway with this uncertainty. I need to get better at scheduling my releases – I should know WHAT book at least a month ahead so I’ll have time for formatting, writing blurbs, creating covers, and the little bit of campaign I allow myself. Stay tuned…
William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePub “Mating Rituals”, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• 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