East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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The only thing I have left

hyams zenI bought my copy of Joe Hyams’ Zen in the Martial Arts in 1992, while I was in London1.
The friend that was with me in the bookstore dismissed this beautifully illustrated book as

typical Yankee-a##hole mystical crap

and he was completely off the mark – but he was a very self-centered person, the sort that gets a kick out of making feel bad the people around them.

In his book, Hyams relates a discussion between himself, Bruce Lee and screenwriter Stirling Silliphant2, about time. Continue reading


Spreadsheets and action

I already discussed action sequences and combat and whatnot in a previous post. but we got talking, with my friend Claire, and I described how I use a spreadsheet to plan my scenes.
So why not share it, too?

Now, to me choreographing an action scene in a story is a fine balance of three processes

  • I have to imagine the sequence, run it in my mind like a movie
  • I must know exactly who does what and when, in what order etc.
  • I must find the right words to show it all on the page

Continue reading