Writing Wednesday: Will I Know When to Stop?

Last week’s status: Three blog posts. I only have one unpublished story that’s not in submission – “Schizo the Magnificent” has already been to twelve markets, and being a flash fiction, it’s harder to place than most of my shorts. I suspect I won’t find anywhere else to send before it’s time to include it in a collection (I stopped

I commented on enough blogs once again. My ePubs remain on schedule – the next release date is April 26th, so I have time to decide what it will be – either “Date Night” or “Truth in Advertising”, or a pairing of two Herc Tom , Champion of the Empire stories (“Baastards’ Revenge” and “Imperial Purrogative”) into a single book.

I’m almost a third of the way through the current revision of Swordsmaster. I logged only 528 words of fiction last week, but Swordsmaster is now over 88,000 words.


I have no concept of time – or more properly, how much time some things take. Last year, in an attempt to anchor my efforts with a deadline, I set this coming June for the release of Swordsmaster. With only three months left, I’m not sure if I can (or SHOULD) make it – there’s so much yet to do.

I wonder if I’m trapping myself in an infinite revising loop – always wanting to fix it just a little more before I call it done. I did that with my first story (“Passed Life”), which eventually resulted in my swearing off long-term rewrites on my short fiction – I write a rough draft, follow it with two clean-up passes, and it’s DONE.

I tell myself a novel is different, that there are so many more details, characters and plot-lines to tie together – so many places for inconsistencies to creep in. And instead of tightening words to only what’s necessary, you are expected to add a certain amount of non-essential words that are there to add color and make the world feel more solid, even though the plot could proceed without them. And so it’s hard to gauge how many passes I’ll have to make before I can finally say Swordsmaster is DONE.

I wonder – does Swordsmaster truly require as many passes as it feels like it will JUST BECAUSE it’s a novel? Or is it just that this story is so important to me? I first started setting it on paper FORTY YEARS AGO, and even though I didn’t really return to it until four years back, it’s been rolling around in the back of my mind all that time. It will be BIG (SCARY) transition when Swordsmaster goes from being ALL MINE to something SHARED.

In all of my life (not just my writing), I’ve lived by the principle of GOOD ENOUGH. I hope I’ll be able to hold to that for Swordsmaster; it would be a shame if I were to spend enough time perfecting it (an impossible task) that it died along with me. Just saying…


William Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent release “Reining Cats and Dogs” ReiningCatsAndDogsCover– 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

• 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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