Creativity / writing

Writing Wednesday: A Writer Must Finish What He Writes

Goals update: Last week I made both three blog posts and three comments on the blogs of others.

I currently have no stories waiting to be sent out to market (“Schizo the Magnificent” is still under consideration.) My next release date will be October 25th, and probably a collection, since I don’t have any individual stories to ePub. I’ll need to start building up my short fiction stock once I’m done revising Swordsmaster (I should be able to write new fiction while creating a cover and formatting Swordsmaster for its September release – we’ll see how long it takes me to return to short-fiction thinking…)

Last week, I only worked four days on Swordsmaster revisions. I logged 1,690 words of fiction, and Swordsmaster is over 99,500 words.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with HEINLEIN’S RULES FOR WRITING, here they are:

  1. You must write.
  2. You must finish what you write.
  3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
  4. You must put the work on the market.
  5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

These rules have a certain order to them; they were written during the time when TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING was pretty much all there was, and the flow is intended to help maintain the writer’s discipline.

  1. Stop thinking and talking about writing – just do it.
  2. Don’t be forever at it – finish your work.
  3. Don’t change your work once done, UNLESS a publisher buys it and asks for a change.
  4. Submit your work to buyers (otherwise, it can’t sell, can it?)
  5. Keep the work on the market until a publisher buys it.

All the rules still apply now in the age of self-publishing, but “You must finish what you write” may be the most important rule – at least nowadays, and for me when dealing with Swordsmaster. It would be so easy to keep revising, but at some point the work MUST be finished.

I’m two-thirds of the way through the current revision of Swordsmaster. It takes me about two weeks to complete a revision, so if I’m going to keep to my commitment to finish revisions by the end of July, the next one should be the last. That means that I won’t be making any large or radical changes to my text anymore (it’s been a while since I’ve made any BIG changes) – this will be a cleanup of obvious errors and inconsistencies.

I may make it to 100,000 words before I’m done, but that is not a goal. I would be horribly embarrassed to alter Swordsmaster just so I can achieve that word-count. I’ll admit, it is tempting – ONE-HUNDRED-THOUSAND just feels special; the fact is, Swordsmaster has the distinction of being the longest piece of fiction I’ve ever written.

As I’ve been working on Swordsmaster, it has been divided into five separate word documents (this was due to a limitation of the app I was using on my Nook HD, which was my tool of choice when my laptop wasn’t practical. For this last revision, I’ll combine them all into one document. This will be necessary not only for final submission of the eBook and paperbacks, but will also help with the final editing. There have been several times now where I’ve found inconsistencies in the spelling of names or places, and since the misspelling isn’t caught by spell-checker (because the misspelling is into another REAL word), it’s awkward to hunt through all five separate documents to find and correct them.

I’ve decided not to try drawing the cover for Swordsmaster – I have limited skill in that area, and although it is possible that I could come up with a reasonably worthy sketch over time, it would take far too long. My skills with photograph editing will have to serve. I’ve found a couple of the elements I need as a basis – now I need to play with putting faces in the haeld-sword.

I will be sketching the map of Caladon Earldom and its borders to include in the publication. This will be the first time I’ve included an image in one of my works, so I’m sure that I will encounter unanticipated difficulties (actually, since I’m sure I’ll encounter them, I guess they’re not unanticipated, are they?)

To open Swordsmaster for preorders, I can still be dealing with editing Swordsmaster’s contents, but I should ideally have my cover ready, so I should try to have that ready this month. And, of course, I’ll also need to have my blurb ready, which is another challenge for this marketing-challenged author. Will I succeed? We shall see.

Just saying…


Collection7eBookCoverThere is still a Smashwords coupon out there for the next ten people who purchase the collection 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.”:



TruthInAdvertisingCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent release “Truth in Advertising” – 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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