Writing Wednesday: Voices and Characters

Goals continue as the end of the year approaches. Still waiting to complete my twelfth and last story for this year. Ten-day rejection turnaround going mostly well – “All the News That’s Fit for You” is problematic because it’s flash, has gone to so many markets, and many more are closed for submissions. Indie-publishing on track – the release of “Imperial Purrogative” is in 2 days, and then I need to get “Sleep with the Snowmen” staged for its December 15th release. Three blog postings (Friday was a bit of a cheat, but it was still a posting.)

I wrote 2779 words last week – all of it on Swordsmaster. I decided that for the sake of metrics, it’s fair to count Character Interviews as writing; 90% of my count came from those, with the rest being added from rewriting and revision.


I hear voices all the time – monologues and arguments flying around in my head as they try to find their way to the page (although some just seem to be trying to escape undocumented.) Every author has his own voice, as does each story that an author writes. You have to be careful to protect your voice – too much revising can make it lose its vitality and identity. You also need to be careful of influences. In my daily existence, I tend to pick up accents and phrasing from the people around me (my wife thinks I’m mocking the people I’m mimicking, but I’m really not – it happens subconsciously), so it’s not surprising that the same could happen in my writing. I just finished A Clash of Kings, and realized that the voices of Roy Dotrice interpreting the voice of George R. R. Martin was coming close to infecting my rewrite of Swordsmaster. Listening to Martin’s books is a great learning experience, but I want to learn to be more descriptive, not to mimic his voice. Swordsmaster must keep to its own.


I’ve never done character interviews before. It seemed a bit silly to me – haven’t those characters already been yapping away in my head? What good would it be to write them down?

Plenty of good.

Have you ever tried to solve a problem in your own mind and been totally flummoxed, so that you finally give up and ask someone else for help, but in the course of organizing your words so you can ask them a question, your mind comes up with the answer? Sure, I know my main characters pretty well, but I haven’t spent a lot of time fleshing out the majority of the players in Swordsmaster. They have personalities, but they’re mostly there to further the plot – I never really considered what THEIR OWN REASONS are for being there, until I ASKED them and they TOLD me. As much as I love Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, the pair is an illustration of characters who have no real lives themselves – they are solely there to serve the writer and the plot. Sure, I’ve had characters assert themselves before (Dragor Tarlenon put the brakes on the original rough draft of Swordsmaster almost forty years ago), but I’ve never examined why they did what they did on the page. I conducted ten interviews last week, and they resulted in the addition of two more characters as well as some sub-plot details that I didn’t realize were there.

I need to interview the other sixty-plus named characters to see what else they will add to the tale. Who knows what they’ll have to say for themselves?

Just saying.


ImperialPurrogativeCoverMy next ePublication will be “Imperial Purrogative”:

Champion of the Empire Hercules Tom is on the outs with Emperor Maxamillian and, Imperial Purrogative being what it is, has to deal with Rotter plots, traitors, assassins and other Imperial intrigues.

“Imperial Purrogative” is the fifth story in my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series. The release date is November 17th (2 more days), but it’s available for preorder until then at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at various retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/756069

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076YP95PB


CatsOfWar_I_CoverWith the upcoming release of “Imperial Purrogative”, now would be a good time to read the first four Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire stories. As an extra incentive, I’m offering coupons on Smashwords for:

Cats of War I – the collection of the FIRST THREE Herc Tom stories (“Purr-Mission”, “Nipped in the Butt”, and “Cat and Mouse”) is on Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/588921 . Use coupon WF25Z at checkout for 67% off the cover price (that means only 99-cents!)

BaastardsRevengeCoverBook four (“Baastards’ Revenge”) is on Smashwords at  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/736440 , and coupon YP62Z code will give you 50% off.


StalkingCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent ePublication “Stalking Rebecca” – 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
• 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

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