East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

A new Sword & Sorcery story

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After the weekend I’ll have to deliver to my publisher a 20.000-words swords & sorcery novella. It’s a game tie-in job, and it needs to conform to the standards of the so called Old School gaming.
You know, Dungeons & Dragons-style.
A simple party. A linear mission.
Explore the dungeon. Kill the monsters. Get the treasures. Come back alive.

Should the readers like it, it might become the first in a series – and I’d really like it, because it’s turning out to be a fun job.
I still don’t have a title, but it’s a fun job.

(I wanted to put a picture here, but apparently all elvish sorceresses you find on Google Images are dressed like hookers. Weird…)

It’s fun most of all because I agreed with my publisher – he, in fact, required it – that we’ll subvert some of the classic cliches and tropes of the genre. My adventurers party is not the usual band featuring a human an elf a dwarf and an halfling, for instance.
The barbarian’s not as rough as he tries to look.
The thief’s wiser than expected of her class.
And the sorceress…
… You know sometimes I fall in love with my female characters, and my sorceress is absolutely a joy to write.

Also, I am poaching in someone else’s woods, but I have a certain leeway in expanding on the source material. New spells, new monsters, new stuff.

The story is currently growing organically – it’s an easy formula, and my one true problem is repetition. There’s only so many ways of describing good old fashioned hack & slash action.

The delivery of the finished novella is expected for Tuesday, and I am pretty sure I’ll make it – even if a new translation job hit me right an hour ago.
Once again it’s urgent, but at least this time it’s fun, and it’s a favor for a friend, so it’s all right.
So, just as every weekend in these last two years and a half, I’ll be sitting here and writing or translating.
But barring accidents, tomorrow night I’ll treat myself and my brother to a pizza in town anyway – because you have to take a break and be good to yourself once in a while.

Not your usual wandering monster…

And now, back to my adventurers-vs-giant-slug scene.
Because jelly cubes are for the weak.

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.

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