Creativity / writing

Writing Wednesday: Complete Your Rough Draft First

Last week’s goals:

I made my three blog posts on time, and my comments on others’ blogs as well (I must not be hinting enough about wanting comments, or maybe I’m just not asking the right way – or writing provocative enough posts. Well, I yam what I yam…)

My stories that are available for publication continue to stay in circulation between markets. Like Heinlein said they should.

I finished my re-listen to James Hynes’ lectures on Writing Great Fiction; I hope that this helps the lessons stick with me. Now I need to decide what I’ll be listening to next.

I continued what I needed to do to set up my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series to funnel people into a voluntary email list. The lead story (“Purr Mission” is now free everywhere I have it (including Amazon), and I have links in “Purr Mission” that offer a free copy of “Nipped in the Butt” with email signup. I also modified the online descriptions (included further down in this post) and keywords, although I have no idea whether what I did will make a difference.

I produced 5,052 words of fiction last week working on Swordsmaster’s Sequel (now at 14,946 words.) I finally am back up to writing some every day of the week – let’s see if I can maintain that…


Writing can be a mystical experience for me. An idea, or an image, or a string of words click in my mind, and a story starts flowing out of it. If I’m lucky, I’m sitting in front of my computer TRYING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN when it does (something that has a better chance of occurring when my sitting time isn’t occupied by that disappeared DAY JOB), so that I can get the story down while it’s still hot and fresh in my mind. Taking brief notes about the idea, or trying to remember the feeling it gave me rarely works – the further I get from the INSTANT OF INSPIRATION ™, the less likely that the story will reappear to me. Even if it does, there’s a chance that it just won’t inspire me as much, will have lost some of the edge it had, and I’ll lose interest (and if you as a writer lose interest but still finish the story, what’s the chance that story will keep the reader’s interest?)

We’re all different – as individuals in general, and as writers in particular. I often wonder if the way my stories come to me is an aberration – that other writers are able to organize their inspiration to happen through outlines and such.

When I take classes, I do it hoping to learn new things, or reinforce things that I may have let fall by the wayside. One of the nice things about taking refresher classes is self-validation – discovering that I’m not such an odd fish, after all (at least as far as writers go; as a human being – if I can be called that – well, that’s another matter.)

I’ve taken two writing courses this year (I’m calling them courses, anyway) – The Writers of the Future Online Course, and James Hynes’ Writing Great Fiction in Great Courses. David Farland emphasized the need to “Write While the Idea is Hot”, while Jame Hynes spoke of letting the story come out as a complete draft before starting to edit and revise. Both come to the same thing – when the story is HOT – when it’s first germinated and busting into bloom in your mind – THAT is when it needs to be written. If you spend too much time thinking about it, it can go stale.

Of course, what comes out isn’t necessarily the best product. As an anology, I remember a stage design I did once for Becket. I had an initial notion of what I wanted – stone ruins that were essentially a backdrop – pretty flat. Eventually it evolved (was revised) to a three-dimensional design – a pyramid similar to Aztec style (stairs down the sides) surrounded by Stonehenge type obelisks – better form, more serviceable for performing the play. Better at advancing the story. And I believe that I would not have arrived at the ebd design without first getting all the main concepts down.

So, when you have a story to write – WRITE IT ALL. Worry about cleaning it up to make it work AFTER you have a draft. Just saying…

Of course, that’s what works for me – your experience may be different. Please add your own thoughts and methods in the comments. I bet there are other analogies from non-writing disciplines as well – a discussion would be great.


William Mangieri has written several pieces of short fiction, but he also has two series of short stories.

The first series is Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire; the inaugural story – “Purr Mission”, won him the first of his Honorable Mentions in the Writers


of the Future contest.

Major Tom’s dander is up. His cub is dying of the Morient Virus, and this cat knows that the Ramses Empire’s sworn enemies (the deceitful feline Baastards!) are responsible, but bureaucats have ordered him not to go to their planet to recover the antidote. Well, it’s easier to beg forgiveness than to ask purrmission. Ready for heroism, space, spies, and lives in the balance? Read “Purr Mission.”

“Purr Mission” can be found FOR FREE at various retailers, including, but not limited to: 



AND – there’s also a link inside for the opportunity to receive “Nipped in the Butt” – the 2nd Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire tale – for FREE as well!)

His second series is Detective Jimmy Delaney, with “In a Flash” as the first story.

Jimmy was a good cop, but age and changing times were getting the InAFlashJimmyCoverbetter of him. If he could only get an edge – what would be the harm? I mean, everybody cheats a little, don’t they? Read “In a Flash” to see Jimmy get himself out of trouble.

“In a Flash” can be found at several online retailers for FREE, including, but not limited to: 



Go out and give them both a read (and a review would be appreciated, too – thanx!)


The Etaeren sorceror Svaerd destroyed the Aurae Council in his quest to take the power of Taernfeld for himself. He almost succeeded in his designs, but was defeated by the council’s lone survivor. Trapped within a haeld-sword, he plots his escape.

Swordsmaster4For four-hundred years, magic has been outlawed by Tor-Haval. Sandrik is the first bright-eye to be seen in Caladon in living memory, and he doesn’t want anyone to think of him as they did the ominous Aurae of legend, so he keeps his special abilities hidden. But there is more to Sandrik than even he knows. Now he is about to enter the ancient ruins of Taernfeld to be declared a man, but another fate awaits him. Will he escape it?

Swordsmaster is a fantasy novel, and is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:




William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction. His eighty or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, 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

  • You can also subscribe to his email list HERE

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