Uncategorized / writing

Writing Wednesday: Little Things Can Trip You Up

Last week’s goals:

Made my three blog postings and my quota for comments on the blogs of others.

I currently have four stories eligible for publication in traditional markets:

  • “Rendering Memories” is a 3,000-word contest entry which is still waiting to win or lose
  • “Schizo the Magnificent” is flash fiction, and waiting for a suitable market
  • “Installment Plan” and “Calling Down Lightning” are both in have just returned from market and will be sent out again in a day or so

Since I don’t ePub standalone flash fiction anymore, the only story suitable for my next release date (January 27th) would be “Rendering Memories”, which will require a slight rewrite if it doesn’t win, since I’ll want to remove the two paragraphs provided by the contest. Then I’ll want to send it out to some more markets first. Of course, I could plan on “Cat’s Paw” (the working title of Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire #8) as my next release since it’s part of a series, and I don’t submit those to markets anymore.

(“Cat’s Paw” is still slow going as I’m still not writing every day. I only wrote on two days, and logged only 628 words.)

*****

I’m out of practice. After spending the majority of the last two years on Swordsmaster, I have forgotten many things that were second nature to me in the short-fiction cycle.

I received a rejection for “Calling Down Lightning” after ONLY ONE DAY for a market that usually takes around a month and a half. The rejection included an admonition that I need to send submissions in something resembling Standard Manuscript Format (although technology is slowing changing this, many/most markets expect submitted stories to be formatted using Mr. Shunn’s rules as a guide. Underlines where you want italics. Double-spaced. Times New Roman 12pt. Address and contact info on first page. Headers with author/story title/page# on subsequent pages, and a series of other guidelines and rules.

In THE OLD DAYS (when all I did was write and send out short fiction), I always formatted with these rules as I was writing – that way, I had very little to clean up (format-wise) before I could send the story to market. Once it was time to ePublish the story, I would reformat for publication (italics instead of underlines, remove headers, change to 1.5-spaced, etc.) When I wrote Swordsmaster, I followed Standard Manuscript Format at first, until I realized that (since I had no intention of shopping the novel to traditional publishers) I was creating more work for myself and changed to the format I’d need when I ePubbed Swordsmaster (it was a REAL PAIN, hunting down all those underlines and changing them to italics…)

Getting back into the swing of writing and submitting short fiction after Swordsmaster, I made some goofs. Both of my most recent stories were double-spaced, with no paragraph indents. It used to be that not using Standard Manuscript Format would earn you an automatic rejection (and for all I know, the editor who rejected “Calling Down Lightning” rejected it just because of the formatting; remember, it only took one day to reject. It also got me wondering about )

Often, it’s the little things that have NOTHING to do with your writing ability that earn you a rejection. It’s hard enough to make a sale without sabotaging yourself, so yes, DO SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Just saying…

<<<>>>

Swordsmaster – my first novel (which only took me forty-some years to write) is ready for reading.Swordsmaster4

Fate is neither something to run away from, nor something to run towards.

The first bright-eye to be seen on the mountain in living memory, Sandrik didn’t want anyone to think of him as they did the ominous Aurae of legend, so he had worked hard to keep his special abilities hidden. But there was more to Sandrik than even he knew. Now that it was time for him to enter the ancient ruins of Taernfeld and be declared a man, what other changes might he be forced into?

Swordsmaster is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/954501

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WNK79FM

(there is also a paperback on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1691904910

<<<>>>

William Mangieri’s writing (including Cats of War II, his latest collection of Herc Tom, CatsOfWar_IIa_CoverChampion of the Empire tales) can be found in many places, including, but not limited to:
• 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

To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• 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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