East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

5 Days Novel – Day 1

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Today was a slow day – I started writing at 10 am, and I stopped at 6.30 pm. I take a break every hour, more or less – and I also had a long talk with a contact for a prospect job, so I was not able to do as much as I wanted.
The balance for today is 10.000 words – which is at least 5.000 words short of what I planned.

Writing science fiction comes with the complication of having to check out science facts. In this sense, the web is a life saver and a time waster.
Today I checked out the details of the Saturn system (eighty-two moons!) and a few videos on the nature of gravitational waves.

And today I also confronted the dread infodump – one of the great crimes, nay, of the unforgivable sins for those that cannot write.
Because as Kim Stanley Robinson correctly pointed out a few years back, this is science fiction, there will be a moment when I’ll have to explain some stuff to you.
But a lot of people out there had been twisted out of shape by people blathering about basic level writing, and now a lot of readers will count the paragraphs instead of enjoying the story.

Today’s infodump is 825 words that sum up a central point of the background, and will be posted to my Patrons for their enjoyment and execration in a few minutes.
I could have masked it is some bit of dialogue,

“As you know, Tom, the Saturn system includes 82 moons…”
“That’s incredible, isn’t it, George?”
“And a few of them are known as shepherds moons because…”

But there’s no George and there’s no Tom in my story, so infodump it was.
Or not, because in the end, I believe it counts as the mortal sin of infodump only if the reader gets bored, and unless you’ve got the attention span of a gnat and the intelligence of an amoeba, you won’t get bored in a story of mine.

So this is it for today. I will post on my socials, and call it a day.

Then I’ll have dinner, and then I’ll record the next episode of Paura & Delirio.
Today it was a slow day. Tomorrow I’ll have to do 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.

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