East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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The new book has been outlined: now comes the fun part

This morning I put together the first proper outline of a book that will supposedly see the light in early 2020: a non fiction book for a small but classy Italian publisher dealing with one of the topics of this blog: travelers and explorers in exotic parts, between 1800 and 1940-something.

The trick will be weaving together the lives of at least twenty historical characters, so that the volume will be a homogeneous narrative and not a series of episodes.

So I spent quite some time trying to decide whether to use time or space to tie the story together.

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


Wu Xing for writers – part one

In the pauses of my writing binge I’m trying to put together the bits and pieces I’ll need for my next writing job – a novel looms on the horizon.

Which, in a very circuitous way, leads us to Wu Xing – that is, Taoist elemental theory.

According to the Taoist masters, reality is built by the interplay of five elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood.
The five elements are connected by complicated relationships of generation and antagonism. Continue reading