Creativity / writing

Writing Wednesday: Killing My Darlings

Last week’s progress:

I made my three blog postings, and (just barely) my comments on others.

I’ve started (again, just barely) a new book – A Mark of Kings by Bryce O’Connor & Luke Chmilenko. It’s a fantasy that will be more in line with the mindset I need to slide into when I start working on my next novel (working title Swordsmaster II.) – I had hoped that would be in June, at the rate I’m going that probably won’t start until July.

I wish that all publishers would at least send an email when they reject a story. This isn’t that hard to do, but I’ve noticed a number of markets that give you a link or tool to log into so you can check status, but don’t do any sort of notification. This means that if I want to see if it’s time to send a story to the next prospective market on the list, I need to keep checking a submission in a market that takes anywhere from a week to six months to decide whether they want to buy that story. A frustrating (and pointless) use of my time. Last week I discovered that I had a rejection from a market when I checked online. It could have happened anytime in the last month – the only way I would know when my story was free for submission would be to have checked every day.

Last week I added 2,267 words of fiction over four days. Some of this was on “Cat’s Paw” (Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire #10), which reached 4,200 words before I finally stopped forcing it), and revisions to Herc Tom #9 (titled either “Space Races” or “A Tail of Two Species”), which is now a 16,350 word novelette.


Last week, I said I wasn’t happy with the way “Cat’s Paw” was going, and that I was going to put it on a back burner and finish Herc Tom #9.

And then I kept trying to force it. After all, I was over 4,000 words, and I was going to MAKE IT WORK, because I COULDN’T just throw all those words away.

Throwing anything away is hard for me, but especially words, with how slow they come to me at times. It’s hard, sort of like I can’t NOT eat food that I’ve paid for – my variation of PENNY WISE & POUND FOOLISH (where the foolish pounds are the ones ending up on my waistline because I don’t want to WASTE the pennies I spent on the food… I’m just too clever…)

But if the story is going off in a bad, or at least boring direction, I can either force it to continue, or cut my losses. There’s an expression in writing about KILLING YOUR DARLINGS – not to become so attached to the words and work that you’ve put in on a story that you allow all sorts of unnecessary, uninteresting parts to remain.

“Cat’s Paw” was turning into a courtroom drama – not a funny, entertaining one like the Rotter Dame’s kangaroo court in “Cat and Mouse,” but a real COURTROOM drama – which doesn’t fit in very well with the usual cat-of-action tale that Herc Tom winds up in the middle of. There is no simple tweaking to fix this one – I probably need to find a non-court way to resolve the issue, handle it with narrative Something reinforced by the Writers of the Future online course (which I need to get back to) – sometimes, SHOW, DON’T TELL is actually the wrong advice, and TELLING gets the job done better – Just saying…


CollectionNext3CoverI’m participating in Smashwords’ site-wide Authors Give Back promotion, which is being held 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):



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:
• 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

One thought on “Writing Wednesday: Killing My Darlings

  1. Pingback: Writing Wednesday: What a Writer Must Do | William Mangieri's Writing Page

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