Meandering

Meandering Monday about My Virtuous Stubbornness

In my misspent youth, I did some acting. (Actually, I don’t know why I’m saying “misspent” – everything each of us does in life goes into making us who we are, so unless you’re doing something destructive, it’s not really misspent.) I was playing The Reindeer in the The Snow Queen, and I developed this breathy character voice that just felt right for a reindeer. The director tried to dissuade me from using it, but he didn’t have much luck; I couldn’t make myself stop, and he eventually gave up.

(It must not have bothered him too much, because when we had an opportunity to advertise the show on Mr. Peppermint, my breathy reindeer got to perform the promo with Gerda.)

When I used to write music, I played one of my songs for a group of friends. Dave tried to advise me on it – he was a serious musician and understood the commercial aspects of song-writing. He gave me an honest, educated opinion (for which the girls almost lynched him – hey, it was a romantic song.) (Oh, no, there goes Bill, being sexist again…) Dave said the song was too long, and needed to be shortened – he was thinking in terms of trying to get airplay. Although I did agree with him about the song’s rhythm / pacing, I solved it by lengthening the song instead by adding another verse and refrain, which made the song FEEL shorter (no, the song has never gotten airplay, but that wasn’t my objective.)

I’ve been at this writing gig now for well over a decade (about 23% of my life.) In the beginning I did a lot of reading about what was necessary to be a good writer, and looked for different pointers as time went along. I increased my studying when I lost mySwordsmaster4 DAY JOB, and my writing group is spending October studying Character Arcs. I’ve read through all the materials, and gone through applying the exercises to Sandrik (first as Character Arcs applied to Swordsmaster, and then I will try them out on the sequel.) I may apply some of what I’m learning, but so far after looking at what I did with Swordsmaster without knowing anything about Character Arcs, I’m happy with how I wrote it (I somehow managed to include some of it in my ignorance.)

I’m pretty good at classwork and participation, but applying what I learn is another matter – at least when it comes to matters of personal taste and creativity. Much of the advice that’s out there about writing doesn’t work for me. Different methods and formulas promise to lead my stories into best-seller territory, but I can’t bring myself to change my own method. Maybe I could if there was a guarantee of millions, but there is no way to guarantee something like that  – else we’d all be rich.

I think I’m too stubborn to change the way I work. I’d say it’s because I’m old, but I’ve been like this all my life. Ultimately, I know what I like, I write the way I do because I enjoy it, and if I can’t enjoy what I’m doing, why would I continue?

I’ve gotta be me – 

Just saying.

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In a Flash Detective Jimmy Delaney eBook CoverPurrMission-MainTall_025For info on how to preorder my latest release (“Two Buttons to Eternity”), or even get it for FREE, as well as  information and links for my other current promotions (including the 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.

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Reaching Out

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

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