Last Week’s Goals
All blog entries posted as usual. No stories returned from market, so no need to recycle.
I have about a month to go before my next scheduled release day (May 13th), so I need to decide what that release will be.
I hadn’t intended to write any short fiction until I completed a couple of rounds of revisions on Swordsmaster #2, but an idea popped into my head that insisted on being written. The rough draft is complete, so after the standard 2 revisions I will have my first of eight stories planned for 2022.
I wrote on six days last week, and made my daily quota twice. I made my daily quota on only two of those days, and missed my weekly quota with 2,222 words. This was on Swordsmaster #2 (now 106,849 words) and the aforementioned short piece.
The Folly of Rigid Adherence to What Might Have Been
As noted previously, my writing plan had been to stay away from short fiction until my revisions of Swordsmaster #2 had progressed to a certain point. Well, I was not even a third of the way through my latest revision (which would be followed by at least a couple more) when a story revealed itself to me, and insisted on being written. So despite my plan, I did.
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men. Gang aft a-gley” – Robert Burns
It’s not always that the plan goes wrong – usually it’s that circumstances change and require a modification in the plan. there’s another quote that seems a bit more realistic to me:
“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” – Helmuth von Moltke
None of us can predict the future (except for the chosen ones), so to assume that nothing will change before your plan even begins operation, let alone finishes is foolish. If you planned a vacation in California and then it dropped off into the sea, would you still go? I hope not…
So, I plan, and then I do something else. In my case, the muse is such a fickle creature, she (sorry if that sounds sexist) doesn’t often come when called, and gets resentful (and then unresponsive) if I don’t listen to her.
It’s not that there is any shortage of story ideas. I could simply jot down some notes and continue with my other work. But my experience has shown that a brilliant story idea that tugs at me now will rarely be as good if I try to remember it from notes later – it will most likely mutate into something less than inspiring, and I will end up wondering why I wasted my time on it.
Stories should be written when the idea is hot and fresh, not when you just don’t have anything else to do.
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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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