Writing Wednesday: Learning to be Interested

Last week’s progress:

My blog postings and comments were done as required.

I had another story return from market; I sent it back out in a day (Literarium really helps when it comes to finding markets. I still don’t know how to use the tool to keep track of my submissions, but I’m happy to continue using the spreadsheet I developed for that purpose (I also trust to that more because I have control of it, just in case I lose access to Literarium (hey – it happened before with Duotrope – it could happen again.)

I wrote on just five days last week, and only added 1,407 words of fiction; this was on “Cat’s Paw” (Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire #10), which is now over 2,300 words.


I’m not sure I’m starting “Cat’s Paw” at the right place, but it did at least get me started writing it. This jibes with the L. Ron Hubbard advice I read recently (which I’ve been adhering to since I started writing) that I have to write the story when it comes to me (when it’s hot), and worry about structure and flow on the revisions.

The L. Ron Hubbard article came up because I’m working through the Writers of the Future online class. I don’t know how long the contest has been doing this, but they’ve put together a self-paced online course that’s a reduction of the seminars they give the contest finalists every year. It’s a little reading (Hubbard interviews and essays), videos with three of the judges (David Farland, Orson Scott Card, and Tim Powers), and some practical exercises.

This is two weekends in a row that I’ve been educating myself about the business of writing (about writing with the WotF class this time, publishing with Smashwords Author Day the previous weekend.) Education is something I really haven’t focused on recently. Back when I first decided to write as my creative release back in 2004, I spent the time from then through 2010 pretty much doing nothing BUT educating myself (the only stories I wrote in that period were “Passed Life” and “B.I.T.”)

Since 2011, I’ve been so geared toward production – measuring words and counting stories – it’s hard for me to say I’m getting something done by taking classes or researching; I know it’s the case, but how do I measure it? Still, I’ve been at this long enough that it’s again time to revisit what I think I know (and undoubtably correct whatever bad habits I’ve acquired in my solitary confinement) (no, that is not a Covid-19 reference – it’s about my solitary existence as a writer.)

Some of the material in the class is familiar (I’d already read some of the essays, and there were parts of OSC’s video on “1,001 story Ideas in an Hour” that I recognized from two books he wrote for Writer’s Market. As I said, it is a good idea to revisit what you think you know, because it’s easy to lose track of methods and reasons.

Something else I had forgotten about was using research to find stories. Many of the ideas that come to me just seem to pop into my mind from nowhere, but some (like “Inheritance”) developed from my following a rabbit hole of online research into ancient Egyptian customs and beliefs.

There’s an emphasis on research in the class – research not only makes the world you create more authentic, but it also makes it more interesting to the writer (who finds his own neighborhood boring and without stories to tell, while a visiting writer will find no end to inspiration in that same place.)

You should write both what you KNOW and what INTERESTS you. It’s easier to learn to KNOW something that INTERESTS you than it is to become INTERESTED in something that you think you already KNOW. Having both components will make your story more interesting to your readers. (or so the class says – Just saying…)


I’m participating in Smashwords’ site-wide Authors Give Back promotion, which is being JD2DowntownBluesCoverheld to show support for people around the world suffering through isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. All of my collections (including my Detective Jimmy Delaney and Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series) AND Swordsmaster are on sale for 30%-off. The link to my eBooks on Smashwords is here:


The continues through May 31st. There’s a coupon on the page for each eligible eBook – ENJOY!


Swordsmaster – my first novel – is ready for your reading pleasure, 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:

Smashwords (with a Smashwords Authors Give Back coupon): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/954501

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


William Mangieri’s writing (including Cats of War II, his latest collection of Herc Tom, ImperialImperilmentCoverChampion of the Empire tales and his other 80 or so short stories) 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

• 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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