writing

Writing Wednesday: Editing Dilemma

Last week’s goals:

Posting continues as it should, both my own and commenting on others.

Using Literarium is a mixed bag for me – it’s definitely helpful at locating appropriate markets for my individual stories (so most of my current six are submitted), although the markets aren’t always open when Literarium says they are. The tool isn’t very intuitive – at least not for me. I haven’t figured out yet how to report that I’ve submitted a story, nor have I figured out the right way to submit from inside the platform (although I’m not sure if that’s possible.) It just be that I haven’t had much time to devote to the platform, and it will become easier, so I’ll keep trying for now.

In reading, I’m now near the end of Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon (which I jokingly described to my Significant One as “Jane Austen with dragons – it’s actually Napoleonic Era, but with real dragons as part of the military as an air corps.) It actually works quite well, and another example of not detailing things to death (so there is hope for my sparse writing.) Ms. Novik even made me cry when one of the dragons died (yes, my Significant One is right -I’m an old softy.)

I disappointed myself again last week, barely writing five of seven days (and some of those only enough to SAY I had written, even if only a handful of words.) The total output for the week was 1,377 words, all on “Cat’s Paw” (Herc Tom #9), which is now around 1,600 words. I’m going to wait for the final revision of “Imperial Imperilment” (Herc Tom #8) in case I need to add some to it (#8 & #9 are very related); Still have plenty of time to prep it for that April 10th release.

*****

I don’t go back and read my own stories very often – once it’s good enough to let others read, I don’t want the temptation of the perpetual revision. I’ve produced 87 pieces of short fiction since I got serious about being productive (measured starting in 2011, and includes the year-and-a-half that Swordsmaster took me away from short fiction), and I would rather have written several tales than revised one to death.

The exceptions to my reading my old work are my series (Detective Jimmy Delaney & Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire), which I revisit each time I’m about to expand one of the series with another sequel or two – I need to get back into the tone of each, remember how characters talk and behave, and try to maintain SOME consistency with what came before (for example, in the draft of Herc Tom#8 I wrote that Herc’s pride is about to add their 13th cub, but I discovered there were already sixteen mentioned in Herc Tom #3.) Okay, so maybe I could avoid this kind of mistake by keeping more extensive notes, and whenever I trip over myself on these things, I do add notes about what I wish I had remembered, but my experience has been that you never really know what pieces of info you’ll need reminders on until they bite you, and the more notes you have, the less you’re going to be able to glean from those notes. Eventually, the notes are more work than just reading the material.

In the course of rereading my work, I will inevitably run across errors. When I find them, I fix and update my eBooks (much easier than having to recall all those paperbacks and hardcovers, thank you ePublishing), but I won’t be putting myself through the torture of proofing all my work – that would be a different version of the perpetual revision trap.) They aren’t continuity errors, but grammar, spelling, missed or doubled words – standard errors that an editor would have caught if I had one.

Not to say professional editors don’t miss things. I’ve read plenty of traditionally published books and stories where I’ve run across simple, obvious errors that make you wonder if anyone bothered to read that page before it wound up bound and on the shelf.

Still, it’s embarrassing. I already have a hard time in the rest of my life letting people know that I’m not perfect – there’s no point in advertising it with poor editing. But I’m too cheap to hire an editor, and although I’ve had a couple of people willing to proof read some of my stories (maybe a quarter of them), there seems to be something about me (my lone-wolfishness, or my natural inability to self-promote) that doesn’t seem to lend itself to people volunteering to read my work.

If I only had an editor. Or a brain. A heart. Da noive. Just saying…

<<<>>>

Swordsmaster4Swordsmaster – my first novel (the one that took me forty years to write) (well, at least to think about) – is ready for reading.

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

<<<>>>

CatsOfWar_IIa_CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing (including Cats of War II, his latest collection of Herc Tom, Champion 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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