East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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New surprise project, and Scrivener

OK, so yesterday I got an idea for a new non-fiction book in Italian – a fun thing that might have a market and is based on the classic 36 Stratagems by Sun Tzu.
A nice intersection of some stuff I’ve been doing recently and my long-standing interest for Chinese culture.

Scrivener (software)Currently I have a lot of stuff on my plate, but this is the sort of sweet and easy thing I can do in my spare time, and it’s probably going to find a lot of readers and sell nicely.
In the spirit of doing the maximum work with the minimum expenditure of energy1, I set out to outline and plan the book as a sort of ultrafast, guerrilla project.
Scrivener, the software i normally use for big projects, was pretty useful.

Here’s how I planned the thing, in case you are interested2Continue reading

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Desperate Stratagems – The Beauty Trap

In Sun Tsu’s classic Thirty Six Stratagems (that Sun Tsu may or may have not written), my favorite chapter must certainly be the Sixth and last, which is called Desperate Stratagems.
Great title.
After all, I love adventure fiction.

I was re-reading Sun Tsu, last night, and I thought the stratagem called Měi rén jì (The Beauty Trap) is absolutely splendid from the point of view of fiction, as a starting point for a story – and also offers an excellent insight on the sort of ruthless bastard Sun Tsu was* … Continue reading