Writing Wednesday: What a Writer Must Do

Progress on last week’s goals:

I made my three blog postings, but missed on my commenting on other people’s blogs (two is not enough – why is it so hard for me to do three?)

I haven’t gotten very far into O’Connor & Chmilenko’s A Mark of Kings (in the past, I did most of my listening in the car, so being in pseudo lockdown has wiped out more than half my “reading” time. You’d think I’d have all this EXTRA time since I’m not commuting, but other activities have vacuumed that time up (ah! is that why nature abhors a vacuum?).) I was right about the tone of this fantasy – it’s similar to my Swordsmaster, that it would have helped me keep my tone – IF I was working on my sequel, but I won’t be there for another month or so. I am enjoying the story (narrated by Nick Podehl, who also read Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind), and as always I’m relieved to see that a story CAN be done well without spending too much time on descriptive details (reading stories heavily laden with details can make you think that’s the only way to do it, and if that’s not your strength, it can make resuming your own writing intimidating.)

I’m keeping my stories cycling out to markets at a good pace – less than 4 days between return (that means REJECTION) and the next submission. Literarium is REALLY helping me find suitable markets (otherwise, how would I have submitted “Schizo the Magnificent” to 17-plus markets?)  I still haven’t figured out how to log my submissions in the tool (although I DID manage to create one entry accidentally, but when I tried to repeat the process I couldn’t.) If the tool is still around in a month, I may eventually figure it out.

Last week I added a paltry 585 words of fiction (less than 20% of my quota.) I finished the last revision of Herc Tom #9 (16,380 word novellette), which will release June 18th as “A Tail of Two Species” (unless I change my mind about the title again); that gives me a month prep it for publication (cover and formatting.) My rework on Herc Tom #10 (“Cat’s Paw”) has cut it down from 4,200 to 3,570 words…


 …and it was HARD to get started on that rework.

I know I’ve said this before (last week’s “Writing Wednesday: Killing My Darlings” among others), but I have difficulties with throwing out work and starting over, and that’s what “Cat’s Paw” needed – the story was heading in the wrong direction, setting up to have significant courtroom drama, and that’s just not a good fit for Herc Tom. So even though there were some portions of what I’d written that still worked (if I changed their sequence around), but about half of my 4,200 words needed to go.

And I spent a LONG TIME staring at those words, trying to figure out some way that I might still be able to use them. I probably lost a day or two of productivity wrestling with myself about deleting those words, but the DELETE finger finally won out, and those original words disappeared into the ether.

Hah! Fooled you! (and me) – I didn’t push the delete key until I made a copy of the entire document so I could copy the useful bits back in where they made sense. The fact is, this is a kinder, gentler revising method that works for me. I originally found something similar in a book of writing exercises – you print your story, then cut it up into paragraphs or even sentences, then glue it back together, but in a different (and hopefully more interesting) order. And unlike reassembling a car engine, you should dispose of any spare parts that are still on the cutting room floor when you’re done – if they were really necessary, you would have found someplace to put them, wouldn’t you?

Like Poe (or fifty other authors of renown) said, every word that is left must advance the story. Knowing my weakness when it comes to killing my darlings, I’m sure I still have some unnecessary words in there, but I can let them hang around until I’m done with the rough draft. It really is hard to kill your darlings. Just saying…


Collection10 CoverI’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’tSwordsmaster4 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 (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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