Creativity / writing

Writing Wednesday: Unplanned Surprises

Last week’s goals: 3 blog posts. Stories cycled to market as soon as markets were available (I only have four currently in rotation.) Commenting in other folks blogs just enough.

I made my quota with 3090 words of fiction, and still wrote some every day. Herc Tom #7 (still no title yet) sits at around 4,000 words.


I’ve received my THIRD Honorable Mention in the Writer’s of the Future Contest! This time it was for “Date Night”, which continues to make the rounds of publishers. “Breathing is Overrated” – my second Honorable Mention – is slated for ePublication on October 26th (I’m still having trouble figuring out the cover…)


When I wrote “In a Flash” (the first Detective Jimmy Delaney story), Diana was just a InAFlashJimmyCoverthrow-away character, a villain intended for that story only, and meant to spend a substantial amount of her life in prison afterwards. But she talked her way out of it, and although I never intended her to keep reappearing in further stories, she’s become indispensable.

It may just be my own creative style, but I often wonder how much other writers have really planned things out. When I write, I have a general idea of where I’m going, but characters seem to appear out of nowhere, and become significant – they set up situations I hadn’t anticipated, or reappear later to play an important role in moving the plot along. Some even take on a life of their own and carry the story in directions I never expected. Or accidentally provide justification for a plot twist later.

The original Star Wars (known to younger viewers as A New Hope) I believe was written to stand alone. Even if Lucas had an idea of what he would do if the movie was successful enough to warrant a sequel, Star Wars was self-contained. In that first movie, Obi-Wan tells Luke that Vader killed his father. Once it was a phenomenon with sequels, we are treated with a surprise: I remember being in the theater on opening day of The Empire Strikes Back, and the audience shouting “NO!” as Vader tells Luke “I am your father!” I somehow think that Lucas was struck with the same shock when Vader blurted it out onto the page. And then we have to listen to Obi-Wan giving his nuanced excuse for lying about Luke’s father.

I’m sure Rowling knew Harry would eventually defeat Voldemort, but was Severus Snape really in love with Harry’s mother and carrying guilt from page one? I never caught an inkling of that conflict until much later in the series, and I somehow don’t think Rowling knew until Severus fessed up.

Writing is always an adventure for me – I don’t always know what’s coming next. How about you? Feel free to tell of your experiences in the COMMENTS.

Disclaimer – I have no idea whether I’m right about Lucas, or Rowling. I just know that’s how it would have come to me if I was writing it. Just saying…


CollectionFirst3CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his many collections, such as The First Three ‘Things I Could Get Out of My Mind’ – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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