Creativity / writing

Writing Wednesday: Getting Things Back in Order

Last week’s goals:

I made my weekly quota (and timing) for my blog posts. I also managed to spend some time commenting on others’ blogs – hopefully I can continue to take advantage of my newfound “freedom” (the freedom of not having a day-job) to keep up with and exceed my goals.

The publication of “A Tail of Two Species” is still sitting in my to-do list for next month. I haven’t started formatting yet, and I also need to come up with a way to edit my covers (I have photo-editing software from 2002 that I’ve been dependent on for my cover art ever since I first started ePublishing in 2012. It seems to have loaded on my newly created Windows 10 machine – we shall see…)

I had one story (“Unaware”) return to me, last week, but it cycled back into my market rotation. Again, Literarium is a big help there (even though I still don’t know how to use it to track my submissions.)

I’m currently “reading” James Islington’s The Shadow of What was Lost – a good (so far) epic fantasy, narrated by Michael Kramer (who also did Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series.) Whether it’s because of Kramer’s familiar voice or Islington’s writing, this feels like the kind of style I need to be listening to as I begin writing Swordsmaster’s sequel next month. Unfortunately, This is the first and currently ONLY book in an eventual either trilogy or series, so it won’t keep me occupied for long.

I wrote on five days last week, for a total of 2,485 words of fiction. A decent amount of production as I get my legs back under me in my first full week without a day-job. (It’s funny how that extra time seems to just vanish as I sit at my desk – there seems to be a time-drain in the continuum…) Obviously an improvement over the ZERO words of the previous week, but I should be able to do better. This was all done on Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire #10 (and #11, which will be the topic below the asterisks… )


So, when I set my goals for this year, along with the first draft for Swordsmaster’s sequel, I was to write eight pieces of short fiction. Three are done so far – “Unaware”, and the eighth and ninth of my Herc Tom series (“Imperial Imperilment” and “A Tail of Two Species”) and I’m working through the fourth of this year’s fictions (Herc Tom #10: “Cat’s Paw.”)

There are some inherent difficulties in my stream-of-consciousness writing style. (“A Background Poorly Written” – my first TRADITIONAL PUBLICATION on Daily Science Fiction – is about this – give it a read and review if you would.) As I’ve said, I often don’t know where a story is going – it just flows out as it wills, and I’m often surprised by the twists and turns, almost like it belongs to someone else. But sometimes the stream goes off in inconsequential or incoherent or directions – it rarely happens in a short story, but the longer the work, the more likely that it will happen. If I was a more “organized” writer, I might be able to avoid this, say with an outline, but I rarely try them (the only time an outline came close to useful was after I had a draft for Swordsmaster with a definite beginning, middle and end and just wanted to make sure I had everything covered that I needed to do for the story to be complete.) I try to keep an eye on the ball , but sometimes the tale ambles off into the rough, and I have to find my way back to the green (does that sound like a good golf analogy? I don’t even play golf.)

“Cat’s Paw” was approaching 13,000 words when I realized that I was taking the story too far. The length wasn’t the issue – Herc Tom #’s 4-9 have all been novelette-length – but “Cat’s Paw” was supposed to have a very specific situation to resolve, and I’d continued beyond that resolution, into what should have been the plot for the next Herc Tom tale. In the course of this, I gave the “Cat’s Paw” conflict short shrift – almost as if it wasn’t important after all – and then why was I spending close to 10,000 words on it?

Well, there was nothing wrong with the concept – I just had to flesh (or fur) it out some more. And I needed to separate the new tale that was unreeling at the end of “Cat’s Paw” into its own boundaries. So I split out the 3,000 words into the start of an 11th Herc Tom story (no working title yet), and I’m putting it on the shelf for now. My current plan is to finish up “Cat’s Paw, and then switch away from any short fiction (otherwise I might be writing Herc Tom for the rest of the year) until I get the draft of Swordsmaster’s sequel (that is so awkward to have to keep saying – I need to come up with a working title. Hey, let’s call it SWORDSMASTER’S SEQUEL! There, problem solved!)

Who cares what the working title is – the work is what’s important. Don’t let yourself get hung up on extraneous details like titles – they will come.

Just saying…


Swordsmaster4Swordsmaster – my first novel – is ready for your enjoyment, 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 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:




PurrMissionCoverSeriesWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including “Purr Mission” (one of his Writers of the Future honorable mentions, which is also FREE on Smashwords as the first of the Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series), as well as another 80-some-odd (well, mostly odd) short stories (plus his collections) can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:

He also has a story (“A Background Poorly Written”) on Daily Science Fiction, here:

• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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