Writing Wednesday: Where Did Swordsmaster Come From?

First, last week’s status:

Three blog posts. Rotating stories to market as best I can. “Date Night” has returned and needs to be sent to another market.

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 50% through the current revision of Swordsmaster. I logged 2,236 words of fiction last week; Swordsmaster has almost reached 89,000 words.


Long, long, ago, in a galaxy… That’s what it feels like.

As with many of my stories, Swordsmaster started with an image – Sandrik – a teenager – in the center of the starched-white, ancient ruins of Taernfeld, going through a ritual transition to manhood. A solar eclipse interrupts the ritual, throws the elders in turmoil, and he’s sent into exile from his mountain village.

Those “facts” were the beginning of the story in 1979, and are little changed now (there isn’t an eclipse.) Little of what I jotted down over the next eighty hand-written pages has made it into the current tale. He did find a hidden tomb, and the weapon within it while travelling with a caravan (that weapon’s nature is the same), but the circumstances and setting were different (although he did take up the weapon to protect a love interest then, as now.)

Dragor Tarlenon was also born in the original, forty-year-old draft. He was an incidental character that Sandrik was supposed to kill, but I liked Dragor too much to let it happen – Dragor is the real reason that the original Swordsmaster draft stopped after those eighty pages.

There’s a scene I remember in which Sandrik takes refuge in a deserted city and wakes to discover parts of it crumbling over the creeping edge of the world, but that ISN’T in the later version. I like the visual, though – it will need to be in another story.

SO – to keep from killing Dragor, Swordsmaster went into my sock drawer (I don’t really have a sock drawer, but that’s where I’ve read that other writers hide their work.) It stayed there for thirty-six years. During that time, images and scenes played in my mind, and the main plot solidified.

I’m not sure what experiences – life, movies, books, news – that may have influenced the growth of Swordsmaster, but no story exists in a vacuum. After nearly four decades, it doesn’t matter – I see no value in wrestling the story back toward its original form. It is what it is (and better for it.) Just saying…


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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s