East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Almost there…

The second installment of AMARNA is going through editing, and we’ll be back on schedule, and release it in February as planned despite having wasted ten days being sick.
What is not going as planned is the development.
As originally dreamed up (what got into me?) AMARNA should have been six 8000-words episodes.
But the first episode was over 12.000 words, and the second will clock over the 10.000 words mark. Which means that the planned 50.000-words novel will be closer to 70.000 words by June.
And yet, I’m having lots of fun, and hopefully the readers are having fun, too.
And things are going to heat up in the next weeks. With the second episode, now all the pieces are on the chessboard. The next four episodes will floor the accelerator.


Now it’s time to start working on the rest of the spin-offs, the new Curse of Fantomah episodes, and hopefully the roleplaying material. And I’ll have to see if my Italian readers are interested in kickstarting a translation and Italian single-volume edition.
That would be good.
As they say, no rest for the wicked.

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Progress report and French cuisine

I’m past the 5000 words mark as I stop and go invent something for dinner.
And once again I spent about one hour of today’s first writing session doing extra research for flavor.

The big surprise of the day – research-wise – was discovering the contents of the French RCIR, military-issued rations, called the “Ration de Combat Individuelle Rechauffable” (Combat Ration Individual Reheatable).


My only personal experience with military rations was during my service in the Italian Air Farce, on the single occasion in which we were taken to the field.
To call the experience underwhelming would be an understatement.
And Italians are supposed to be good with food, but the general wisdom was that some predatory NCO was reselling the rations and feeding the troops the leftovers. Continue reading


Doing research on the fly

No, I don’t mean the study of entomology.

I said I’d keep you posted, so here I am.
I love what I am writing – it’s an espionage thriller, so I’m not completely out of my depths.

I’m currently taking a pause after two hours and some.
I have 2000 words – prologue, first chapter introducing two of the three main characters, and a bit of the second chapter.
Much of the “bit of the second chapter” will have to go – because I’ve just seen a way to write it more dynamically.
But it’s all right, and I am about to award myself a small ice cream.


I could have written more, but I had to do research on the fly.
And so I thought I’d do a short post on the way I handled it.
Maybe someone’s interested. Continue reading

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Shameless Plug: RE:CON after three months

On the first day of August me and my brother launched our small-scale venture, RE:CON Service, a fast, cheap and reliable research outfit aimed at writers and game designers.
Research is important – no matter what some people think – and sometimes you can’t invest a week researching details for a story you will write in one afternoon.
It’s just anti-economic.
That’s where RE:CON comes to the rescue: you drop us a line, we discuss the depth and width of what you are looking for, we agree on time and budget1, and you get a report covering what you needed.


So how did it go? Continue reading

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Writing on spec – developments

. Viable idea sketched.
. Research done – details checked out.
. Story outlined.
. Scrivener file set up.
. Three scenes (roughly 600 words) written out of the thirteen scenes planned (might become fifteen for structural purposes).
Tomorrow – first draft finished by sundown.
Sunday – revision, proofing and delivery.

I must admit this writing-on-a-tight-schedule thing might become sort of fun, in the long run.
With a little luck, I might be able to deliver the finished story almost one day before the closing of the deadline.
And even should it not work out, it’s great exercise.