Writing Wednesday: It’s the Little Things That Will Drive Me Crazy

GOALS UPDATE from last week: 3 blog posts. Stories cycling back to market on schedule as best I can (still don’t have a new flash fiction market for “Schizo the Magnificent” and “All the News…”.) Still need to decide which story I’ll release on June 8th (yes, it’s getting close.) I was minimally social, but enough to satisfy my commitment (sad, to have a “socializing” goal, isn’t it?)

I wrote 2331 words of fiction last week as I continue my revisions (closest I’ve been to my quota in over two months); on my revisions; Swordsmaster has passed  78,000 words.


According to this year’s plan (we all know about plans, don’t we? That thing about MICE AND MEN…), I’m supposed to be done with Swordsmaster at the end of next month and revert back to short fiction. I’m not sure it’s going to work out that way – I may have to decide which goal I’m going to give up on. Something bothersome for someone like me, who doesn’t like changes I didn’t plan on.


I’m pretty good at plot, if I do say so myself (oh, wait – I am saying it.) What’s killing me is the little things – the details that I need to carry through the story. Some of it is just as simple as how a character wears there hair, or how they speak; details that are hard enough to keep track of. But some of it becomes very complicated (and really, I have no one to blame but myself.

For example, Sandrik is distinguished in part by a physical trait that hints at his link to the “sorcerors” of legend (sorcerer is the simplest way to explain it for my purposes.) When I wrote the first draft, that trait was his hair – blacker than black, streaked with silver strands that seemed to shine with a light of their own. He was called a “dark-hair”, because the bulk of the people in Haval were blondes, with a minority of brunettes and redheads. But the further I wrote, and the more world building I did, the less distinctive this seemed. The Allemans, Slette, Iberians, and Southrons all had darker hair than the Haval, and I also wanted to have the characteristic be reactive and variable, so I didn’t think “dark-hair” would cut it.

I changed it to at his eyes – he’s an Aurae (colloquially referred to as a “bright-eye” by the common folk), a throwback to the Etaeren of legend, who made use of the energy of aerh. Sandrik’s eyes are golden in daylight, glow at night, and become more noticeably brighter when near the source of aerh, or when using it.
I realized about a quarter of the way into this revision that I wasn’t making a distinction between the different influences on Sandrik’s eyes, and also on how people would react, so I had to go back and include it.

(Sorry – this is probably too much “inside baseball” – I hope your eyes aren’t glazed over from this.)

Why couldn’t I just stick with hair?

Ultimately, I know it’s the little things that are going to bite me. Inconsistencies, the ideas that didn’t occur to me at the very start that took over midway through and were never incorporated in the rest of the story. And I find myself adding more and more complication as I go along – more and more things to remember (or more likely forget.) There doesn’t seem to be any end to it.

Sometimes, I really miss writing short fiction. Just saying…


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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