Creativity / writing

Writing Wednesday: Methods and Madness

All writers have their own methods.

I was reading Sarah Hoyt’s blog recently, and she used a term I haven’t heard before:  GATEWAY WRITERS (“ie., the gateway-in-the-head opens and …pours out, you aren’t entirely in control of the elements…”) As far as I can determine, Sarah coined this expression herself; thank you, Sarah, for giving a name to what I do.

Ideas come to me, sometimes totally unbidden, although since I set annual goals I am more actively looking for ideas (although never THOSE particular ones.) See with me, I know a host of triggers to execute to acquire an idea (reading, music, photos, looking at things upside down, creating mind maps, etc.), but I only know I really have an idea when it starts talking to me – at first quietly inside my head, then in whispers that make my wife ask “Are you taking to me?”

The ideas that come to me have minds of their own, and I really don’t know where they’re going to end (unless the idea presented itself as the ending – then I don’t know where it will begin.)

Likewise, characters tend to choose their own paths, and do things that I don’t anticipate. And even though they are coming to life inside my head, let’s get something straight here – they do things that I would NEVER do, and wouldn’t want people to associate with me as a person.

“Ooooh – that William Mangieri must be just like the chef in “A Dish Best Served”; did you read what he did to that critic? I don’t think I would spend time with him in person if I were you…” (Maybe this is why I have so few friends. I wonder who Stephen King hangs out with?)

I’m really not like that character – or the son in “The Body”, or many of the other personalities that populate my stories. I mean, why would you expect me to be? Looked at another way, wouldn’t that mean all my characters would have to be the same? Each of my stories filled with William Mangieri clones? Who would want to read that?

At the same time, these characters and ideas aren’t just coming out of some black hole or a vacuum – it would be foolish to pretend that I have nothing to do with it all. I know people who couldn’t conceive of characters who think or behave differently than they do. I’m no hero, but I can write about them. And although I’m no villain either, I seem to be able to act the part when the words are rolling out. So there must be some part of me in them (and some part of them in me, too.)

Hmmm… multiple personalities taking space in the same brain…

Just saying…


Still prepping “The Collective is All” for its January 13th release. A little trouble with the cover, as usual…


collection8ebookcoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication Some More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND , can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• 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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