East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

The tipping point


This week marks the moment my work on my new novel gets real. So far it’s been just playing, warming up, tossing ideas about. Now it gets serious.
I have no ETA, I have a poor excuse of an outline and a fair idea of the two main characters. And the general concept, of course, but that’s been there waiting for years. I don’t even have a date for the actual start of the writing. But now I know it’s about to begin.

I know it because today the postman delivered a book I needed for my research. It’s been a sort of hunt – I spotted the book while browsing Amazon and went “hmm, might be interesting to slip this bit, too, into the story…”

But the book in question went for thirty bucks. No deal.
Then, two weeks ago, a copy went for sale for one third of the price – ten bucks. OK, take it as a sign.
But my order bounced, and by the time I straightened the thing up with Amazon, the volume was back at its full price. Again no deal.
Well, maybe it was not a sign, after all.
But last Thursday, the volume was again available for 9 bucks, and I had a gift card loaded on Amazon. Bingo.
And now here it is.

The volume in question is B. Alexandra Szerlip’s The Man who Designed the Future, which is both a biography and a critical assessment of the career of Norman Bel Geddes, the man who designed the Futurama for the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

I mentioned about six weeks back my idea of a story about two people that meet in a dream-city that looks like it was designed by Bel Geddes. And I got this idea, that the life of the artist might provide some further element to the story, bring some unity or some quirky bit.

I have an opening with a publisher, that is looking for something of mine, and something that is not my usual stuff – no cannibal zombie pygmies, no saber-toothed tigers, no ancient curses, no airships…
They want serious fiction.
But they still want my fiction, and this means I have some leeway.

It’s time to write Still My Favorite Song.

And now I know it will happen, because I have invested nine bucks and will invest a few hours reading this beautiful book. It means it’s serious, it means my brain and my fingers are about to start firing in sync.
I’ll start putting words on file.
I even found an opening quote…

I wouldn’t call this place a happy end
But I’ve been ’round the block and just came back again
Could be worse, so make it work, no place is perfect

There is going to be a lot of music in the story – it already has a soundtrack.
It’s going to be fun. I think.
Now I have to finish what I have started, while I do my research, fill in the blanks, and do a proper outline. But I’ve passed the tipping point.
I feel a lot better!

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 “The tipping point

  1. Have fun doing the research and good luck drafting this new novel!


  2. Congratulations on starting a new WIP!


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