East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Another idea

People that do not write have a hard time understanding that ideas are everywhere. They’ll come to you and say “I’ve got this great idea for a novel, I’ll tell you so you’ll write it and we can share the money.”
They get it wrong on three counts – first, because they think there really is any serious money in writing (ah!), and second, they believe their idea is unique (it’s not).
Third, and final, you can’t write a book based on a single idea. You need at least two good ideas to rub together for a long work to have a hope in hell.

Ideas are everywhere, and a good writer – well, a decent writer… let’s say a serviceable hack – is the one that can recognize them as they pour around him.
A general rule of thumb is, when you are overworked, stretched thin and at the lowest point of a low period, you’ll start getting all these brilliant ideas.
It’s like an Egyptian curse.

Let me give you an example.

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Writing Prompt – Tomb king

This one was supposed to go online yesterday, but then more urgent matters required a post. So here it is now…


The painting is called The Tomb King, and was created by Jarrod Owen. My friend Marina saw it, and pointed it out to me.

And this is an anomalous prompt, because it is actually a perfect reference for a story I am writing. The story is called The Revenge of Ankhefenkhos, and it is part of my series about the adventures of Aculeo & Amunet. It will probably be the longest thing I wrote about these characters, and it will take time.