writing

Writing Wednesday: Discovering a Pantser’s Life

Last Week’s Goals

All my blog posts went out on schedule. One of my stories (“Installment Plan”) returned home, but I’m still looking for another suitable market for it.

My next eRelease is scheduled for September 3rd. The rough draft and first revision of “Possession” (Detective Jimmy Delaney #8.) Two more revisions (and formatting and a cover) and it will be ready to go.

I also finished the draft for a flash fiction (“And Then Her Tail Fell Off”), so when it and Jimmy #8 have had their revisions, that will be eight of the ten stories I committed to this year.

My current reading is an Indie Published Amazon Best Seller (documented as #1 in five categories at one time in 2018.) I’m reading the eBook (since I cancelled Audible to conserve finances, I have finally depleted my stockpile of audiobooks), and chose this book because it was:

  1. An epic fantasy (for when I get back to writing Swordsmaster: Deception)
  2. An Amazon Best Seller (to see what sorts of books can make it there)
  3. Available for free (because… finances. I don’t remember if this was through Kindle Unlimited, a special promotion, or offered through my Amazon Prime membership)

I’m not going to name the book until I’m done, because I want to give the author a fair shake. I’m hoping that the almost four hundred ratings (average 4 stars) were earned from appreciative readers (rather than competent marketing), and that I just haven’t  gotten to the good part. So far, the writing is unimpressive (although they do a better job of including description than I normally do), the story unremarkable (I’m waiting to feel the anticipation that I believe the writer thinks he’s set up), and the editing poor (there are too many obvious line edit, consistency issues,  and overall problems with word choice for me to believe any serious editing was done. There’s even a flashback within a flashback.) It’s a good learning experience for me as I try to understand what other writers are able to put out there and get good (and numerous) ratings for (I haven’t gained a double digit ratings count for any of my stories yet, let alone triple), but if I was just a casual reader, I would have already stopped.

I made my fiction quota for the 3rd week in a row – 5,135 words, spread over all seven days (although I missed one of my daily quotas.) The first revision of “Possession” (Detective Jimmy Delaney #8) put it to 21,770 words (still a novella), the first draft of “And Then Her Tail Fell Off” is just over 1,000 words, and “Memories” added another 600. A productive week.

On the MARKETING & PROMOTION front:

As I continue my attempts at various marketing gambits, I’m going to try a Kindle Countdown withSwordsmaster4 Swordsmaster. It will run for a week starting this Friday for only 99-cents (75%-OFF) and gradually climb back up to its normal price. Let’s see what kind of sales that generates (and maybe some ratings and reviews – I can dream, can’t I?) I plan  to feature it this Fractured Fragment Friday.

(Also, remember – if you have Kindle Unlimited, Swordsmaster is still FREE for you to read. You can check it out here:

https://amzn.to/3qnfYoP.)

I’m still participating in SMASHWORDS JULY SUMMER/WINTER SALE! All of my collections are on Smashwords at 50% off throughout the month of July. You can find the Smashwords links to the individual collections on my Current Book Promotion page.

To help keep this writing gig going, I’m also an Amazon affiliate. If you click on one of my Amazon links and then purchase ANYTHING on the site, I might get a small commission AT NO COST TO YOU, so consider using one of my links the next time you plan any purchase on Amazon.

The Serendipitous Nature of Being a Pantser

I have written before about how much of my life has been lived through luck. A friend nicknamed me Domino (there’s apparently a comic character of this name whose super power is luck.) Another friend became furious with me once because I was calling my dice pips in advance of rolling them, and they were coming up as I called them far too often. He accused me of cheating (that I was influencing the dice as opposed to predicting them. Another way of “making my own luck”?)

My life has often taken turns that can only be explained by luck. Even when I make a mistake, it quite often winds up being beneficial. Maybe I’m not as haphazard as that sounds – perhaps I have subconsciously placed myself in position where whichever way it goes, I still have a winning move (that seems to segue nicely into the fact that I never tip my king.)

The reason I’m meandering through this on a Wednesday (instead of on Meandering Monday), is that my being a PANTSER (a DISCOVERY WRITER) seems to just be a further extension of this principle.

I spent the last week doing my first revision of “Possession” (Detective Jimmy Delaney #8.) It having turned into a novella meant it took a long time to write, and with no clear outline, there was a good chance that I was missing some foreshadowing, or that some discoveries were out of sequence. You may recall I was at least halfway though writing it before I decided who the villain was and how the story needed to end. It’s hard to foreshadow something when you don’t know in advance what it is. I had some very definite plot clean-up that I knew needed to be addressed.

Except…

As I read back through the draft, I discovered foreshadowing and setups that I didn’t even realize were there. Cat hairs figure into the story (which I didn’t intentionally set up) and point to one of the perps (who I didn’t know was a perp at the time. I also needed a photo of this perp to show up, and I went into the revision not knowing where or how I would make that happen

For those of you out there who aren’t PANTSERS, this may a haphazard and disorganized way to put a story together. EXCEPT THAT IT WORKS FOR ME. 

Just saying…

Any Pansters out there with an interesting, serendipitous story development to share? Be my guest in the comments. Thanx!

Current Book Promotions

In a Flash Detective Jimmy Delaney eBook CoverPurrMission-MainTall_025 To see a list of promotions I’m offering on various books (including FREE starter eBooks for my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series and my Detective Jimmy Delaney series), look HERE on my CURRENT BOOK PROMOTIONS page.

Reaching Out

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Want to help me make a go of this writing gig WITHOUT IT COSTING YOU A PENNY? I’m in the Amazon Affiliates program, so any time you click one of the links I provide here to my books on Amazon, and then make a purchase of something like, say, a TV, I get a small percentage of Amazon’s profit. So PLEASE consider using one of my links to get to Amazon before you make that next purchase. Thanx!

To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW)

or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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