East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Kill the stripper


In four days I have to deliver a 15.000 words of hard-hitting police procedural, and I am currently at 5000 words. The story, that is perfectly outlined and with all the characters and the set-pieces in place, just won’t write itself.
But something happened this afternoon.

When I am completely stuck – just as I was stuck this afternoon – I go for a walk.
One of the perks of living in the countryside is you can take long walks in the middle of nothing – no noise, no people, no distractions.
Only the hills and, these days, the autumn colors.
It can be quite beautiful – autiumn is probably the best season hereabouts.

And I was walking when I hit upon a solution.
It took less than ten minutes: I’ll have to kill the stripper.
Now, this is a sad business, because I love flawed female characters, and racy, sexy, strong-willed women that happen to be walking on the wildside usually trigger my affection.
But there is no doubt – I just have to look at the outline, and I can see that, as soon as you kill the stripper, every piece moves into the right position and connects neatly with the others, and the end result is a solid story.


So I did it.
I came home from my walk and I wrote the scene in which the stripper is killed.
700 words.
The story now makes complete sense – which is very important for a mystery story.

In the next three days, it will be just a matter of mechanically typing the rest of the story.
I’ll meet the deadline, and I am sure my publisher will be pleased with the overall results.
If only had there been another way…

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.

2 thoughts on “Kill the stripper

  1. It’s a bloody business, chief.


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