East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Another outline, and some research

Why is it that good ideas always come when our schedule is completely full? I think it’s because our brain, as we are working hard on a couple of projects, shifts gear, so to speak, and generates a surplus of ideas. Talk about hyperactive imagination.

So last night, while I was taking a break after dinner, I did the only thing one can do in such a situation – I opened a Scrivener file, I gave the thing a title, and typed a general idea and then a tentative outline for something that would work great as a novel, if only I had the time to write it.

It is indeed an idea, for what I would call a folk horror, that has been tumbling through the dark (and deserted) corridors of my brain for a while now, but as it usually happens, now some bits and pieces have clicked together. What I don’t have is time.

But as I was putting all the bits and pieces together to save for later, I also noted down a few links and stuff for background research.

I was quite surprised at how nicely the ancient goddess Cybele (aka Kubaba, aka the Magna Mater) fits my plan – and I found quite funny the bit on Wikipedia that says…

In Greece, Cybele met with a mixed reception.

Sort of like a rock band or an art movie.

On the plus side, having stuff I want to write makes me more focused on what I need to write – and helps me work faster, better (hopefully) and with a stronger motivation.

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Writing a serial? Or a series?

So, it’s been proposed I may write a series – a supernatural horror series.
Which is no big deal, one might think: I always write thinking in series.
Aculeo & Amunet is a sword & sorcery series.
The Corsair is an adventure series.
The Ministry of Thunder was conceived as the first book in an adventure/fantasy series (and yes, I have the second book growing here on my hard disk).
And my Italian language bestseller, Gli Orrori della Valle Belbo is a supernatural horror anthology series.
And so on and so forth.


It comes, I think, with the sort of books I grew up with. Cycles of novels, series of short stories. Characters with continuing adventures.
And then of course there were all those BBC and ITC TV series I grew up with as a kid – from The Avengers to UFO and all that.

So, basically when I write I think in terms of series.
Even the story in Alternative Air Adventures was developed as a possible pilot for a series (not that I told that to my publisher). Continue reading


My second novel – outline and structure

And so, while I keep piling up notes and resources for my new roleplaying game project (the thing is getting huge), I also started working on my new novel1.


The outline’s done – I’m letting it cool off, and tonight I’ll send it to the publisher, and barring strong objections and possible redesigns, I’ll slot the outline in Scrivener, and I’ll start jotting down the first draft.
In the meantime, I’m also mind-mapping the setting and the characters2. Continue reading