Creativity / Meandering / writing

Meandering Monday about Skimming and Skimping

I can appreciate the detail of other writers, but my eyes tend to fly past the colorful words to follow the plots and the characters. This is especially true with something I’m reading for the umpteenth time – like The Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter. But even on a first read, I find myself skimming to get to the “important” stuff. I rarely can tell you what any of the characters look like, no matter how hard the author works at describing them; I’m more likely to picture the character by first catching onto their personality and way of speaking, and then identify them with an actor who seems to fit the role.

Sorry, those of you who work so hard at providing details for your readers – they are lost on me. Like I’ve said, I can appreciate the artistry and talent, but otherwise I ignore it. This seems like a terribly inconsiderate attitude from a fellow author, and I should probably be experiencing some sort of pangs of guilt for not working harder as a reader – but I’m not.

Listening to audio books has forced me to pay more attention to the details (it’s hard to skim past it when I can’t see it on the page), but I still feel my ears glazing over as I listen (while a voice in my head is loudly complaining “stop talking about  what things look like, and tell me what HAPPENS next!”

I watch movies and TV shows the same way. I don’t catch all the details, and often can’t remember he names of even major characters. But my pattern recognition-self does a good job of picking up on plot, what’s happened, and likely future scenarios. My significant other, on the other hand, is very detail-oriented, and needs to know exactly who said what and what they meant, in ways that I can’t explain to her, so she has to rewind and rewatch to make sure she doesn’t miss any of the details. Me – I don’t care that much about all that “extraneous” information.

Of course, this may also explain why I don’t care much for the traditional Agatha Christie-type mysteries – you really need to pay attention to those details if you want to understand what’s happening and successfully guess who-dunnit.

How I read is how I write. As I’ve been working on my Swordsmaster revisions, I have definitely added more detail than I include in my short fiction, but it’s hard to not feel it’s extraneous, like when I had to write papers and essays in school up to a specified number of words, when the point could have been made a lot mor efficiently.

How much does all that detail serve the story (which I tend to define as the plot)? And how much of it is just filler to help boost the word-count? Just saying…


There is still a Smashwords coupon out there for the next ten people who purchase the Collection7eBookCovercollection More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND. BTW, I am baffled as to why NO ONE has taken advantage of this coupon in the month that it’s been active. It could be my poor marketing skills, or any number of other reasons, but my enquiring mind would like to know – please share in the comments.

Anyway, If you purchase the collection on Smashwords with coupon code BT87H you will receive a 67% discount – that’s only 99-cents for SIX stories – such a deal! The collection includes “Dredging Things Up”, “Saturday He Fed the Cat”, “Finding Sanctuary”, “#InWhoseReality?”, “Gladius”, and “Behind the 8-Ball.”:



William Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent release “Truth in Advertising” –TruthInAdvertisingCover can be found in many places, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:

• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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