Standings from last week: Stories are cycling back out to market as they should be. My second publication is already available for preorder for its February 23rd release – this being a collection, there will also be a paperback, and I’m waiting for the proof to arrive in my mail before I take it live. Three blog postings as usual, and I found enough interesting material from other bloggers to be able to meet my 3-comment-per-week target.
I wrote 2656 words of fiction last week – better than last week, but still not quite at my 3,000-word quota. Swordsmaster still sits around 68,500 words, since I haven’t touched the main text in over a week (my “words of fiction” encompasses world-building, history, character interviews and other background materials that took all my time last week. Letting this count toward my total HAS helped motivate me to take that WORK as a serious part of writing, and Swordsmaster should be better for it. Remember, Bill – the REAL objective is to finish the novel, not just pile up WORDS.)
I finished R.A. Salvatore’s The Dame. It did suffer from my not having read the 2-9 books ahead of it, but I did eventually get drawn into it. Then, before I got to the end of the book, I started losing interest again. The story was obviously building some cliff-hangers to lead readers into the next book, and part of my disinterest may have come from knowing that I didn’t intend to read the next one, plus not being invested in Branson (by this point, a reader of the series would have spent three books with him – not just one.) There was also a believability issue for me – there was “magic” that made Branson practically invincible, except that then “magic” beat his magic, and even with that, he suddenly doesn’t need the magic that’s been necessary for Branson to overcome his infirmities. It was a little too much deus ex machina. That may be unfair – perhaps there’s something in the previous nine books about his world that would have explained this to my satisfaction, but otherwise, it just seemed all too convenient. I also had the odd sensation that I was reading a recounting of a Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying session rather than a book. I played D&D in the 70’s, and it’s just how it felt to me; I was amused to discover that Salvatore has written D&D novelizations for TSR (the creators of D&D.)
Those criticisms (well, really just observations) aside, I was still able to learn from his writing – characterization, weaving details in, making fight scenes seem more real (even with superhuman fighters), and world-building overall.
Here is what I consider my weakness as a writer – detail. I’ve always written sparsely – sparingly – in my short fiction, my main emphasis being to convey the plot – what I consider the STORY (I know, short fiction shouldn’t exclude details – much of the advice on writing that I’ve seen stresses the involvement of all the reader’s senses, and you can’t involve the senses without diverting some of your limited words to that purpose.) But now I’m writing a novel, and it’s hard for me to break the habit. Reading an author like Salvatore, whose added some sensory details is a good reminder. I tend to write “the ship arrived” instead of “the Caravel’s sails flapped loudly, cracking back on itself in the gale, and its soggy, wooden hull creaked and kicked up spray as the ship it slid alongside the dock.”
I hope I can assimilate these lessons and improve my work. I have every reason to believe that I can do these things myself, so it’s also been a confidence-builder – knowing that a successful writer isn’t that far above my own abilities (so that I can also fantasize that I’m not THAT far from being a successful writer. Whatever keeps you going…)
Now I return to reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (just started A Feast for Crows), and shatter my self-confidence once again.
My next publication will be another consolidated collection – The Next ‘Three Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND.’ (That’s a total of 18 stories from my 4th, 5th, and 6th ‘OUT OF MY MIND’ collections, including some personal favorites such as “My Brother’s Keeper”, “Canabis alienus ‘alien dope’”, “The Red Barrens”, “Dempsey’s Debut”, and “The Wolves Will Come.”)
From the blurb for “Dempsey’s Debut”:
How would you like to be abducted by alien mantises for some live entertainment, and that just because of your namesake? Jack Dempsey feels ‘boxed’ in when he’s forced to carry on the family name, and certainly doesn’t want to become part of the Krills’ warped mating ritual. It’s hard to live up to your ancestors.
The release date is February 23rd, and it’s now available for preorder for a SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL PRICE of 99-cents (that’s 18 stories at LESS THAN 6-CENTS PER STORY – Such a deal!) at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
William Mangieri’s writing – including his previous ePublication “Out of Place” – 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