Writing Wednesday: What Madness in My Method?

GOALS UPDATE from last week: 3 blog posts. Stories cycling back to market on schedule as best I can (doing ok, except for “Schizo the Magnificent”, which, like “All the News That’s Fit for You” is flash fiction – there aren’t as many markets for flash.) My next scheduled release is June 8th – still need to decide which story it will be. I commented on other people’s blogs, hopefully in a useful manner (I always worry about that.) As a side-note, someone actually commented on mine for a brief discussion – thanx H.R.R. Gorman!)

I’ve finished four books so far this year (it’s so easy to do now with Audible, I have forgotten that it’s a goal), and am now into book two of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series (The Great Hunt.) As I’ve said before, I’ll most likely stay with this series until I finish the current revision pass of Swordsmaster.

I get credit for a piddling 304 words of fiction last week (a heavy week at my DAY JOB, accompanied with LIFE interruptions again. Still, I plod forward, and Swordsmaster is at 74,793 words.


As I’ve gotten back into revising Swordsmaster, I’ve realized that it’s not just laziness (I’m a slow typist.) I actually like what I’ve written, and how it sounds and feels. I’m adding to it some, and changing small parts, but I’m not removing much yet. The time will come to KILL MY DARLINGS, but that will be nearer the end of the process, when Swordsmaster is nearly finished.

So, in the dubious public interest of sharing how I’m working this revision (because it may be helpful to know how someone else does things, even if they’re WRONG):

I made a task list of various changes I wanted to make – either from things that various characters told me in their interviews, or gaps I already knew I had, and descriptions that were lacking. I took those ninety or so items and broke them into groups, starting with RESEARCH ITEMS, then GENERAL ITEMS (that would apply throughout the story), and the rest into one of the eighteen sections of Swordsmaster that they applied to.

Then I hit some of the GENERAL ITEMS that could be taken care of easily (spelling and word changes that could be done en masse, for example.) Once these were done, I started on page one of Swordsmaster. Because my memory is so poor, each time I begin a revision session, I read through the GENERAL ITEMS (because some of them might apply to the section I’m working on), and I read the items specific to that section. When I feel I’ve completed an item, I highlight it in green to show that it’s done (seeing all that green in my task list makes me feel good), and if there was a question I needed to answer (such as what Sandrik’s abilities include) I add them as notes in the task list, highlighted in blue so I can locate them among the green and the unhighlighted. (BTW – you can use your own color choices – it’s a free country, after all…) When I get to a new section, I reread the GENERAL ITEMS again, and the tasks for that new section before I continue.

I’m pretty much going paragraph by paragraph right now, with very little backing up. The object of this pass is to have everything in the task list highlighted in green or blue when I’m done. This may be difficult to complete this, because as I go along, if additional ideas occur to me, or I realize that a section task needs to travel into other sections, I’ve been adding them to the task list. Maybe I should start a new list for the next pass, but for now I think it’s manageable this way.

But then again, what do I know? Swordsmaster is my first novel, after all.

Just saying…


Next up: I still don’t know, but I’ll figure it out soon…


CollectionTheLast3CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent publication The Last Three ‘Things I Could Get Out of My Mind’  – 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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