Monday, November 9, 2015

What I Have Learned Through Swordsmaster (and the Vaunted Cats of War I Pre-order Promo Continues)

I’ve finally completed the rough draft of Swordsmaster. It currently stands at just over 57,000 words – by far the longest thing I’ve ever written, and yet not as long as the 70,000 words I had expected. Of course, that count was supposed to be for a COMPLETED manuscript, and Swordsmaster is FAR from completed.
Still, I have reached the END, the DENOUEMENT, and for that I should allow myself to celebrate.
I can see why some people NEVER finish their novel. Heck, right now I am SOME people – at least until I complete what needs to be done.
What have I learned?
Every writer has a process that works for them, and although mine might vary slightly due to each story’s needs, by and large my process stays the same. I thought I knew mine pretty well, and that I just had to stretch things a little to go from Short fiction to novel.
I was WRONG.
My internal editor can stall a short story, but it is DEATH to a novel. There is no way I can write every word perfectly to begin with, and the added volume increases the chance that my writing will stall from not being to get the exactly right word in every spot.
There are inconsistencies throughout, some just from my poor memory, complicated by the writing being extended over seven months. I tried to help this with notes. And notes about the notes. And notes about the notes about the… you get the idea. Other ones have to do with tone / voice, which was hard to maintain over all the stops and starts of those months. Or because when I was maybe 20,000 words into this when it occurred to me that this might be a Young Adult novel, and that changed the way I was writing it.
And mostly because I realized partway through this that I could not manage the writing the same way as a short story. You see, in short fiction, it would take almost no time at all to flip back a couple of pages and put in something I forgot, or fix an inconsistency, or add details, and then I could get back to writing and finish the story. With more words came more opportunities to go back even further and fix things, and that becomes its own drug. I realized that if the overall story framework was going to have any hope of working, I would have to leave holes in the details until the foundation was laid in.
There are notes in the margins throughout, reminding me of just SOME of the things it occurred to me I would need to address. I have learned A LOT, but I have a lot left to learn.
There is so much research I still need to do – about medieval commerce, agriculture, weather, sea vessels, weaponry, wildlife, religion, culture (yes, I can go on and on) – so many questions that I didn’t even know to or how to ask until the basic story played out.
So that’s what I have now – a plot that works, with characters that need more fleshing out, settings and a world that need more detail, and all of which needs to be wrapped up in a consistent and appealing voice.
For now, I’m going to take a break from Swordsmaster to write the last two short stories I need to make this year’s goal. And then it’s “once more unto the breach, dear friends!”
Just saying…
So in the continuing saga of William’s attempts at marketing… My next ePublication will be Cats of War I - a collection of my first three Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire stories (“Purr-Mission”, “Nipped in the Butt”, and “Cat and Mouse”.) The stories are set in a cat-dominated world and include space adventure, treachery, political intrigue, germ (and other) warfare. And yes, it’s humorous, too.
RELEASE DATE:  November 20th
The collection is available as a pre-order at multiple online retailers for a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE from now through its release. The price will increase after the release weekend.
IN ADDITION – if you purchase Cats of War I on Smashwords, use coupon code WF25Z at checkout to save an additional 67% off the $2.99 promo price (that makes it only 99-cents – such a deal!) This coupon is only valid from now through the end of the November 20th release day. Here’s the Smashwords link:
And here’s the Amazon link for pre-ordering Cats of War I:*Version*=1&*entries*=0

William Mangieri’s writing (including his latest story collection And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND) can be found in many places, including:
His site on Wordpress:
 “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:

Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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