Creativity / writing

Writing Wednesday: Roughing It

Last week’s goals:

Blog posts out on time, and the requisite post comments made (mine on others, not others on mine.)

My stories that are available for publication continue to stay in circulation between markets.

Here’s an embarrassing fail: I lost track of my next release date. It was planned for September 4th (which is only in 2 days from today), and was supposed to be “Cat’s Paw” (Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire #10.) I still have to create a cover and format the story for ePublication, so I will put off the release to September 11th. (Should schedules matter this much to me? Yes – like any other goal, these are promises I made to myself, and if I’m going to succeed, I must keep those promises.)

I’m back to listening to fantasy fiction. For the sake of maintaining voice in Swordsmaster’s Sequel, I’m listening to another of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Wise Man’s Fear. I have also recommitted to actually reading (a blog on self-editing reminded me of the value of SEEING the way other authors put words on the page to help me improve/expand my own writing. I’m sticking with reading short (flash) fiction that I already subscribe to – they should be short enough to not bleed into the voice of Swordsmaster’s Sequel.

My experiment with setting up my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series to help drive email subscriptions is partially successful. Over the last couple of weeks, 40 people have downloaded a free copy of “Purr Mission” (the first in the series) mostly driven by redoing the cover and requesting a price match from Amazon for the eBook to be FREE (you can’t set your price to zero in KDP, but they can.) However, not ONE PERSON has subscribed to take advantage of a free copy of the 2nd story (“Nipped in the Butt”), NOR has anyone left a review or rated “Purr Mission.” This leads me to believe that the people who downloaded the free book just downloaded it and haven’t even read it. Hope that changes as the experiment continues… (I also revamped the cover for the first Detective Jimmy Delaney story (“In a Flash”) to make it more consistent with te series, and price-matched it to FREE on Amazon, and there have been 16 downloads in less than a week – but AGAIN, no reviews or ratings. This marketing game is NOT the fun part of writing, but it must be done (I’ll keep saying that, but it’s hollow rhetoric without RESULTS.)

I produced 4,297 words of fiction last week on Swordsmaster’s Sequel (increased to 18,893 words.) I missed writing on one day last week – need to be more consistent about my writing times, but I don’t have total control of that, so it’s more important to JUST WRITE when I can.


Progress on Swordsmaster’s Sequel slowed last week. Part of this was because I reached the end of the starting outline (for the first four chapters or so), and without guardrails, I was having to think more about where it might go next (I had hoped the story would be forcing itself on me by now, but it’s not as free-flowing as I had hoped it would be by now.)

For another thing, I’m having difficulty keeping my INFERNAL EDITOR™ in its place (most writers call it their INTERNAL editor, but that seems a rather minimizing term for the turmoil it causes.) As I was writing, the story started fleshing itself out more in my mind. It occurred to me that the garrison on Taernfeld being a long-term deployment, the Guards families should be there, but I hadn’t even mentioned them, and this would add additional characters and dynamics at one of the stories main, critical locations. INFERNAL started holding me up from continuing where I was in the story, insisting that we MUST correct that chapter NOW.

INFERNAL tends to think of time as linear, and wants everything to happen in the proper order. He doesn’t understand that I can write later chapters as though those details were already included in the earlier section, AND THEN REVISE THE EARLY CHAPTER TO MATCH once I ‘m done with the draft.

Being DONE with the draft doesn’t mean all the details are there – things may be a bit sketchy, because I wasn’t ready to add those details yet. Nor will all the scenes be there. Things – like foreshadowing – may be needed, but weren’t there initially  because I didn’t know WHAT I needed to foreshadow.

One of the hardest tasks this writer has had to do is to get INTERNAL to understand that it’s called a ROUGH draft for a reason. Just saying…


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


New, more consistent cover

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.

In A Flash-2200Cover-WhiteJimmy was a good cop, but age and changing times were getting the better 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 reviews and ratings would REALLY be appreciated – 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

One thought on “Writing Wednesday: Roughing It

  1. Pingback: Fractured Fragment Friday: “The Cat’s Paw” | William Mangieri's Writing Page

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