Creativity / Swordsmaster / writing

Writing Wednesday: A Novel Return

So, in those pesky goals I had for this year, I was supposed to write twelve short stories. I’ve done nine so far, and figure I’ll do the other three during THE HOLIDAYS – that period spanning Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year is usually such a jumble, it’s only good for short fiction.

Which means I need to get to my major goal for this year – finishing Swordsmaster (my first novel.) I completed the rough draft at approximately 57,000 words, and I’m still thinking it will wind up in the 80,000 range when I’m done. Part of me wanted to keep beating on it until it was really done, but I thought it would be better to leave it for a while – work on other things and clear my head so I could come back to it with fresh eyes.

So this weekend, when I finished my ninth story, I opened the folder where I keep Swordsmaster and all those words. It’s been nine months since I last looked at it, and here’s the scary part (well, actually, the scari-EST part): I flipped around to different parts of it, and I didn’t recognize any of it.

This should be a good thing (I did need to get some distance from it), but for now it’s intimidating. I’ve had some practice getting back into the flow of a world with my Detective Jimmy Delaney and Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series, but it’s going to take some time to get back into it.

There’s also an odd bookkeeping quandary that probably doesn’t matter to anyone but me. Part of my goals involve word counts – that’s pretty straightforward in my short fiction, but this is something else. I’m not sure how I’m going to track my weekly productivity while I’m revising and cleaning up Swordsmaster.

I also didn’t remember HOW ROUGH my rough draft is. The whole thing is filled with placeholders where I know I needed to add something, or major characters and places that haven’t even been named beyond fillers like “XXXX”, or “<<hisFather>>.” And there are notes everywhere – notes in the margins, notes in separate files, and notes that I know from past experience I won’t understand (no matter how detailed I try to be, communication is a tough and fluid thing – I always wind up having to choose between conflicting interpretations and hope I got it right.)

Will I be able to catch on to what I knew I was doing last year? Or will I wander off with the story in a totally different direction? It’s enough to make me want to give up.


I’ve been thinking about this story for decades, and I have a lot of time invested in it. Time is money (and yes, I know there’s also a saying about throwing good money after bad; but it’s my money.) It is what it is – I’d best get to it.

First I’m going to take advantage of my REALLY fresh eyes and give it a read-through like I haven’t read it before (I really haven’t.) And then I’ll see where it takes me.

Just saying…


FindingSanctuaryCoverThis week’s Smashwords coupon is for “Finding Sanctuary”:

After generations searching for a home, the colonists of The Promise think they’ve found it. But is this seemingly perfect world where they’ll find Sanctuary?

(A bit of sci-fi, a pinch of fantasy, a slice of horror; a good mix of what makes up speculative fiction. Add in alien spiders – how can you go wrong?)

“Finding Sanctuary” just started with the idea of a human colony ship wandering through space in search of a home. Eventually they find one. But an alien planet suitable for life would of course have alien life, wouldn’t it? It would be nice to think they’d be welcoming, but…, well…, WE’D be the aliens then, wouldn’t we?

Use coupon code FD38W to get 67% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until August 27th. Here’s the link:

“Finding Sanctuary” is also available in the collection – More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND.


ScentOfTheCrimeCoverThe preorder campaign will be over in 2 more days for Detective Jimmy Delaney story #4: “The Scent of the Crime”:

Detective Jimmy Delaney finds himself involved in yet another murder. He knows something smells in Barnstow, but can he use that to find the killer?

“The Scent of the Crime” is a short, private detective fiction set in the near future, with a slight sci-fi element fiction. And a little humor (Jimmy likes to think of himself as Sam Spade, but has more in common with Jim Rockford.) This one started just because I wanted to play with some advanced scent memory, I liked the title pun, and then the story took over. Hope you enjoy it!

The release date is August 26th, but you can preorder now at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at all the usual places, including (but not limited to):




William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication “Obsolete”, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri



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