Writing Wednesday: Planning and Plotting

Last Week’s Goals

I made my blog posts as usual, and made my requisite comments.

I continue to rotate stories through the available markets (do you think Heinlein would be proud of me?)

My next scheduled release date was going to be November 13th, but it’s occurred to me that I have enough short fiction now that I could do a Halloween appropriate collection (prior to now, my collections have essentially been without theme – just the oldest group of stories that I had already ePubbed separately after they had rotated through enough markets.)  I’ve come up with a group of 21 stories that seem appropriate, either because they have traditional Halloween denizens (ghosts, vampires, or what have you), or they’re just plain creepy. At least one of them is previously unpublished. I’m displaying the cover here:


and I’ll be announcing the release date and setting up preorders shortly (and a Smashwords Presale, as well.)

Marketing – that thing I either have no skill at, or can’t control – continues to baffle me. “Purr Mission” has had 51 free downloads since I added the internal offer for a free copy of “Nipped in the Butt” in exchange for joining my email list, and I haven’t had a single taker (that same offer is available at the bottom of this posting – hint, hint…) and no reviews, either.

I also discovered that BookBub will only be of value to me once I actually have followers there, so it will be a while before I see any benefit from listing my books there. I’m checking on some other promotion sites for free promotions that are REALLY free (funny how the word FREE doesn’t mean what you think it means…)

I wrote only six days again last week, and produced 3,755 words of fiction. Swordsmaster’s Sequel is just over 32,000 words.

Planning and Writing Swordsmaster’s Sequel

Some differences between writing Swordsmaster & the sequel (at least the way I’ve started):

Swordsmaster was almost entirely from Sandrik’s perspective – aside from the prologue and first chapter (which were background for Caladon from before Sandrik’s birth) and a brief scene on Calhorn from his mother’s perspective, everything was based on what Sandrik experienced.

The sequel has multiple POV characters, and I have (loosely) planned for each of them to have activities that they are involved in, and there is going to be intersection and overlap. I’ve been stalling in my writing because I’m having trouble getting the timings of those activities / story lines in sync. It’s taken me a while to realize that there is no way that I’m going to get all the timings in sync in the first draft (for me, a STORY comes about pretty much the way LIFE happens –

“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”

– John Lennon

There doesn’t seem to be any real point to my making any plans at all, at least not anything long-term. I can make my lists today of how I want to tackle my writing tomorrow, but it becomes like any battle-plan – worthless once you encounter the enemy (or once pen meets paper.)

So, my latest plan is to just write and try not to pay too much attention to whether everything lines up. Once I’m done with the draft, I’m going to adapt a technique that (I think) I picked up from Writing Great Fiction: I’ll label each segment (anywhere from a paragraph to a full scene) with what’s significant about it. Then I can adjust the positioning of various events that have dependencies on each other so that the timings make sense.

Sort of makes me glad I’m not working really hard at describing seasonal effects yet – as weak as I am on writing descriptions, it would be horribly painful to color a scene for winter and then have to redo it for summer. So I’ll keep my descriptions sketchy until I’ve done my little exercised and have a more definite idea of my plot sequence.

There – that plan ought to last all of a week or so. Just saying…

How hard do YOU work to keep your timings straight on your first draft? I’d love to discuss it in the comments.

Free Series’ Starters

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

PurrMission-MainTall_025The 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: 

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/211302

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008SFD2EKNippedCoverFinal

(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: 

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120247

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006W8UXSI

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

Swordsmaster Novel

The sorcerer Svaerd destroyed the Aurae Council in his quest to take the power of Taernfeld for himself. He almost succeeded in his Swordsmaster4designs, but was defeated by the council’s lone survivor. Trapped within a haeld-sword, he plots his escape.

For 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:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/954501

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WNK79FM

Reaching Out…

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction. His other 80-some-odd short stories (plus his collections & Swordsmaster) can be found at several online retailers, 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

To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW – you know you should…), go to
• 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• His • • • • On BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/william-mangieri-58193793-177b-4177-b6f8-6192f5187ad5
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

You can also subscribe to his email list HERE


One thought on “Writing Wednesday: Planning and Plotting

  1. Pingback: Fractured Fragment Friday: WEIRD, But Not TOO Scary Tales – Available for Preorders and Presales | William Mangieri's Writing Page

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