Creativity / writing

Writing Wednesday: Surviving a Revision

I’m proud of myself (Hey, we’re all allowed that, once in a while): I survived the second (repeated) revision of “Hard Times” (Detective Jimmy Delaney #5; remember, I had already done the second, FINAL revision and then “lost” that version through a careless, backwards backup?)

I’m not good at revising. Or rewriting for that matter. I’m decent at letting the ink flow out onto the page, and I once I get started the words just keep coming. This is a good thing to a point – better than freezing up and not being able to write anything at all.


I have a definite commitment to the words I’ve put down. It took me some effort to put them there (between my infernal internal editor and my 4-finger typing), and part of me (remembering the painful old days before computers when if I typed something wrong typed something wrong I had to rip it up and RETYPE THE WHOLE THING) imagines that pain whenever I think of eliminating words. Also, in 99% of the cases (well, maybe 98%) those words are precursors and preconditions to other things that happen further into the story, and I’m hesitant to take out things that bolster later events. As a result, I have difficulty paring down words. But Poe said that, particularly in short fiction, EVERY WORD must further the story, or be eliminated.

There was a scene in “Hard Times” (well, more like a bit in a scene) that I really liked; when I wrote it, I thought it was a good piece of character development for both Al and Jimmy, and the character involved also seemed like they were destined to reappear further in. Except they didn’t, and I realized this as I was rereading (it helps to put some time between when you write your first draft and when you revisit it to clean it up – freshens your eyes so instead of still knowing / remembering why you wrote something, you’ll actually ask yourself WHY IS THIS HERE? – And if you can’t find a valid reason…)

When I discovered this bit, my inclination was to leave it in – maybe even add more to the story so that it had a reason for being there. But I had already tied up all my loose ends, so I would have been creating clutter; it didn’t advance the story, so I pitched it.

One small step for most writers – one giant leap for this one. Yes, I deserve that pat on the back.

Just saying…


collection2coverThis week’s Smashwords coupon is for More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND – my second short story collection, which contains the following:

“Sasqwhat?” –  Sometimes, you don’t know what you’re made of until it’s staring you in the face…

“The View From Up Here” – Talking to yourself can be something quite different when you’re possessed of two minds.

“Inheritance” – When Amun discovers that his family is connected to power, wealth and infamy, he enlists a friend to help him get his share. But does he really want the ancient inheritance that’s coming to him?

“The Human Interface” – Customer support can be Heaven, but most of us remember when it’s like – the other place. Keep your cool; stick to the script and remember, people don’t always have control of themselves.


“Riding the Devil” – With his town running from one strange frontier to another as they elude their abductors, Aaron Walker is forced to risk all to fulfill his destiny.

“Last Call” – Where would you want to be at the end of days?

Use coupon code DP84A to get an additional 67% off the newly reduced cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until October 8th. Here’s the link:


My next release will be “Hard Times” (Detective Jimmy Delaney #6); I still have to format and create cover. Release date is October 21st.


killingthemsoftlycoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication “Killing Them Softly”, 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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