Creativity / writing

Writing Wednesday: The Problems with Talking (and Thinking) Too Much

Last week’s goals:

I posted my own blog on schedule, and finally managed to meet and exceed my pitiful three-comments-on-someone-else’s-blog goal.

I’m still waiting for one or more of my six available stories to come back from market so I can kick them back out there again. Reading this, it may seem a bit pessimistic that I ASSUME they will be returning unpurchased, but that’s what we learn to do as practicing (not wanna-be) writers, and the only way to retain your sanity (mine is already gone, but I keep trying anyway…)

I’m now listening to The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. 2-A. It’s a collection of eleven classic sci-fi novellas, each by a different author. That means I get exposed to eleven different voices, plus some short fiction techniques instead of spending a long time on one novel. This includes stories by Robert Heinlein, Poul Anderson, John W. Campbell and H.G.Wells (yes, these are older pieces, and the style on some may be dated – tastes and conventions change – but they are still excellent stories and writers to learn from.)

I wrote on five days again last week, but was FAR more productive, with 3.614 words of fiction written (the first time I’ve made the 3,000-word-goal in 2020.) “Cat’s Paw” (Herc Tom #9) is now at just over 9,000 words; I’m still targeting both it and “Imperial Imperilment” (Herc Tom #8) completed by the end of the month, with “Imperial Imperilment” slated for an April 10th release.


There’s advice for writer’s I’ve read somewhere (probably back around 2008, when I was in the middle of my READING EVERYTHING I COULD ABOUT WRITING phase) that a writer shouldn’t talk about their stories with other people – at least not until they have it written down in a first draft. Apparently, talking about your ideas at a cocktail party makes your brain feel like you’ve already written the story, and your muse moves on to other things.

Well, the same thing may be true for thinking about things too much – which for me at least is the equivalent of talking about it (even if it is just to myself, and anyone else who might overhear my mumbling in the grocery store.)

Another problem I have is that the more time I spend thinking about stories, the less time I’m writing, and I start having consistency problems. Stops and starts result in forgetting that I set things up to go in one direction a thousand words ago, and now I’ve decided to go in a way contrary to that set-up, and then my INFERNAL EDITOR™ starts screaming and destroys what concentration I have left.

There is an additional (although minor) frustration with my SEAT OF MY PANTS writing style – I thought I knew where #9 was headed when I gave it the “Cat’s Paw” working title, but the story is taking itself in a different direction, where the plot point that the title references won’t happen (you might remember that this was the original working title of #8, and pretty much the same thing happened.) No big deal – I’ll just have to come up with a different title for #9 and move “Cat’s Paw” to #10 (or since the muse keeps resisting, maybe I should just stop trying to go there – just saying…)


Swordsmaster – my first novel – is ready for your reading pleasure (eBooks are coronavirus free), so give it a read, won’t you?

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 Swordsmaster4want 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:




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:
• 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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