Writing Wednesday: Overthinking, Overcooking, and Over-Planning, Oh My!

GOALS from last week: 3 blog posts. Stories cycling back to market on schedule as best I can (flash fiction is still a problem.) I was able to prep and ePub “Interview with the Blue Neon God” in less than two days and made the release date. I was marginally social last week in my attempts to be visible (and relevant) online.

I wrote 3,487 words of fiction last week as I continue my revisions; Swordsmaster has crossed 79,000 words.


I operate often by serendipity – doing something by accident that makes me look like a genius. I did a project once in a theater lighting class where a character was hiding in a closet (in clear view of the audience, pretending to peek through the opening of a door that he was pretending was there, and my lighting actually put a vertical line on his face, as though it was the shadow from the closet door.

In Swordsmaster, I when I changed Sandrik’s signal physical feature to his golden eyes, I had a common name for it (“bright-eye”), but I also wanted a scholarly name, so I took Aurum and combined it with “ae” (which is the letter combination I was using to create the names of Etaeren sorcerors and the mountain-folk who use the same letters in their names as a sign of adulthood.) This resulted in calling the “bright-eyes” the Aurae, which (happy accident that I didn’t realize until weeks after choosing it) is also the plural of aura, which is pretty much what the Aurae are able to see and use.


I am going to make a commitment now to publish Swordsmaster by the end of June 2019 (I’ll pick an actual date before this summer is out.) I have no intention of shopping it around to traditional publishers – the chances of it being purchased is slim (that’s just the way the industry is), and I could spend years learning the ropes of queries and agents and the like before I finally make a positive connection – I ‘d prefer to just get it out there once I’m satisfied with it. I would rather spend my time writing, and I will probably be better served learning how to do an effective eBook release and promotion than learning how to slow-walk through traditional publishing.

I’m about 40% through this revision of Swordsmaster. I had thought to continue additional revisions beyond my original end-of-June plans, but I’m afraid that if I continue rewriting I will destroy what good I have already created (you really can overcook a story.) The more I reread my work, the more I realize that it’s not so bad (yes, I know – such a ringing endorsement. Most writers are full of this sort of confidence.) My editing and revising eyes are beginning to glaze over, and it will do me some good to take a breather. so I’m going to switch to short fiction in July as I had laid out at the beginning of the year. Depending on how things go, I may return to Swordsmaster in the fall – we shall see.

Plans are…plans. Just saying…


Well, this is a quandary; for the first time, a market has sent me a rejection (no – that’s not what’s new – this was rejection #513) with an offer to LOOK at the story again if I will address a couple of weaknesses. This comes close to a Heinlein rule I’ve never had to deal with before:

  1. You must refrain from rewriting, EXCEPT TO EDITORIAL ORDER. (caps mine)

Of course, Heinlein was talking about an editor who said “I WILL BUY IT if you make these changes”, and there is no guarantee that this market will buy my story if I do what they suggest. But still, it’s a great temptation, even though it fights with my own rule that “when a story is done, it’s done.” (I should probably formalize my own rules in a list like Heinlein did, except that would feel a little presumptuous. It might be the only thing I write that ever gets widespread viewing, though. Might be worth it…)

The temptation to give it a try is further complicated because I JUST THIS WEEKEND ePubbed the story (yes – I’m talking about “Interview with the Blue Neon God.”) See, my submission tracker said that the market was two weeks late sending me a rejection (it always is one, you know?), and I needed an ePub, so that’s what I put out there.

Initially, I was going to forgo the exercise, but the temptation is just too great – it would be nice to have my very first traditional sale (and if that didn’t matter to me, I would just ePub every story as soon as it’s done.) I haven’t had a single sale of “Interview with the Blue Neon God” in the five days it was available online, so I have withdrawn it from ePublication. My current plan is to finish the revision of Swordsmaster that I’m currently on, and then rewrite “Interview…” as my first piece of work when I return to short fiction. With luck, it really will wind up published by someone other than me.

(Or it could be yet another windmill in my quest. Just saying…)


CollectionTheLast3CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent collection 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

2 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday: Overthinking, Overcooking, and Over-Planning, Oh My!

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