Last Week’s Goals
My three blog entries posted on schedule usual. No submissions returned from market, so still no need to recycle any stories back out to market.
I have about a little over three weeks to go before my next scheduled release day (May 13th), but I still haven’t decided what it will be.
I have once again violated my plan to not return to short fiction until I complete a couple of rounds of revisions on Swordsmaster #2. This time, I was tepted by a flash fiction writing contest, and have completed the piece and entered it in the contest. That makes it my first completed piece of short fiction for 2022, and leaves me with seven to go.
I wrote on all seven days last week, and made my daily quota three times. I missed my weekly 3,500 word quota with only 3,180 words. Swordsmaster #2 sits at 107,910 words, while the flash piece I wrote was 809 words.
Method Coddling and Cobbling
I’ve taken some time recently to attend a couple of writing summits, as well as reading through writing lesson blogs (the recently deceased David Farland’s Story Doctor site is wonderful for this.)
I believe I’ve said before that formulas just don’t work for me – other people’s formulas, anyway. For me, stories come together, not so much planned as intuited. I give the story its head when it first gallops into my mind, and although I will do some clean-up, fleshing-out, reordering, and revising, my short fiction sticks close to how the original draft fell onto the page.
As I’ve been studying recently, I’ve found a lot of ideas to think about and look for in my own stories, but I haven’t found anyone else’s method that I can duplicate. I find myself taking those alien methods apart and cobbling bits and pieces into my revision process, and that hopefully makes my finished stories better.
It’s difficult for me to learn to write a different way. Call me stubborn. Call me lazy, but as frustrating as being a PANTSER can be sometimes, it is my method of writing that I find appealing and draws me to write in the first place. If I was forced to create a story using someone else’s method, I might find it an interesting exercise, but I know it would also kill my enthusiasm for writing. Keeping that joy is worth the inefficiency of coddling my method.
As I’ve said before (sing it, Sammy!):
Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I gotta be me, I’ve gotta be me
What else can I be but what I am?
What works for you?
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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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