Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

The Inn of the Four Winds

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I am writing the second novel in the Sabatini sequence – The Ministry of Lightning, that for some obscure reasons (you’ll have to read the book to know) comes after The Ministry of Thunder.
Computer mishaps apart, it’s going nicely, with just one problem: I have two prologues.

Now, my friend Claire, that is a fine writer, and not a hack like myself, repeatedly told me that novels need no prologue and epilogue, because that’s something that happens in theatre, not in books.
But what the heck, I grew up watching James Bond movies, and I like a nice pre-title sequence. To set the scene and mood, to hook the readers, to start with a bang, but also with a few questions.
Only, for Ministry II, I have two.

The first, that was the first one I wrote, sets up the major bad guy, and just like in the first novel, features characters and actions that will reappear only six/eight chapters into the novel. It’s got the right sense of menace, and as it closes, we are dropped back into the action.
Nice and smooth.

The second is a nice little set-piece that (re-)introduces us to Felice Sabatini, presents a new character, and heats things up with a little action and a little Wow!-factor.
It features a lengthy (for my standards) fight sequence, but is otherwise a straightforward piece of pulp.

Now, as I said, I tend to disregard my friend Claire’s rule about prologue, but I agree that two is one too many.
So what I decided to do was to take the second piece – that works nicely as a stand-alone – and write it as a one-shot 4000-words short story, that I will post to my Patrons in the next days – possibly even tonight.
It will be called The Inn of the Four Winds… or possibly The Inn of the Four Quarters

The action picks up Sabatini a few months after we saw him start on foot to go back to Shanghai from the Taklamakan desert, and finds him sore-footed, tired, and as usual not very keen in getting involved with troublemakers.

It’s going to be fun.

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.

9 thoughts on “The Inn of the Four Winds

  1. More Sabatini for the masses! πŸ™‚

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  2. I was wondering when you’d get back around to Mr. Sabatini and his adventures ‘East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai” πŸ˜‰

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    • I’ve been holding on in thehopes the publisher would give me the go-ahead.
      As Felice Sabatini still appears to be in an editorial no flight zone, I’ve arranged to publish his further adventures via Patreon.
      And I’ve been missing the guy and his friends πŸ™‚
      (and of course, I started writing about him again, and my computer went belly up and I lost part of the material…)

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  3. Actually, your friend Claire is a firm believer in the non-existence of unbreakable rules.
    Prologues, and epilogues – we’ve long sent those into retirement even from the stage, truth be told. On the page… Ah, I don’t know. I’ve developed an allergy to the breed when the Am-I-Ever-In-Trouble-How-Did-I-Get-Here variety became something of a fad.
    You know that lots of books begin with exactly that sort of prologue – whether it adds to the story or not.
    That’s not to say, though, that I can’t like a well-done prologue… only, I’m cynical and hard to sell on the matter. πŸ˜‰

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  4. Actually, your friend Claire is a firm believer in the non-existence of unbreakable rules.
    Prologues and Epilogues, though… We’ve long sent those into retirement from the stage, too. On the page… I’ve developed an allergy to the breed when the Am-I-Ever-In-Trouble-How-Did-I-Get-Here variety became something of a fad. You know how many books have one of those, whether it adds to the story or not…
    That’s not to say, though, that I can’t like a well-done prologue that manages to surprise me a little. It’s just that I’m cynical and hard to sell on the matter. πŸ˜‰

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  5. There! Your blog wouldn’t let me comment at first – and now… two of them! Do erase one of them, will you?

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