East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Movin’ the River


So watch me hawk eye, understand
The force of will, the sleight of hand
Movin’ the river,

No, not a post about the Prefab Sprout (altho’ I might, one of these nights…)
No, fact is I went through All About Shanghai, A Standard Guidebook 1934-35, which was reprinted by Earnshaw Books and is absolutely great.

9789881762146I was checking a few facts, you see, doing my final draft* – and the 1934-35 guidebook is filled with facts, figures, statistics, an ideal one-stop resource for historical background and geographical reference.
The book is another one that was probably in Doc Savage’s library for quick browsing, and is a fun read (even if you’re not writing a novel set in Shanghai in the ’30s, or you’ve booked a trip to Shanghai in 1934), and a true treasure-trove of information.

And it was while I perused this wonder from another age that I noticed that… hell, I can shift the action in the second chapter from the southern bank of the Whangpoo River to the northern bank of the Soochow Creek, and not only the action does make a lot more sense, but the whole thing gets a lot better, and a few plot points are solved in a much smoother way.
Just by changing location.
Requires a modicum of rewriting, and a little care, but it’s exactly the sort of editing that’s essential in making my story better.

So, I’m moving the river.

Bucket by spoon,
And do you think that they’ll like me
When they learn what I do

* Yeah, I know, I talk about that a lot. Sorry. Fact is, working on this 24/7, there’s little else on my radar at the moment. And interesting things keep coming up about which I feel like blogging.
So sue me.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

4 thoughts on “Movin’ the River

  1. ” I talk about that a lot.”

    I like reading about this story, I love the setting and it captivates me more and more each time.


  2. Pingback: Moving Rivers | Scribblings

  3. Pingback: The Shanghai Illusion | Karavansara

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