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Sabatini Gives It His Best Shot

Rafael Sabatini is no longer with us, having died in 1950, but he was an Italian-born British writer of romance and adventure novels. Raf is best known for his worldwide bestsellers: The Sea Hawk, Scaramouche, Captain Blood, and Bellarion the Fortunate. Several of his novels have been made into films.

A man who earned his way in the writer’s world and had a thing or two to say about it as well. “An intelligent observation of the facts of human existence will reveal to shallow-minded folk who sneer at the use of coincidence in the arts of fiction and drama that life itself is little more than a series of coincidences.”

Indeed, looking back on my own rather long life, my wife reminds me constantly that I have angels and they have flapped their wings quite furiously at various times to keep me out of trouble. Yet I have friends who must have lived angel-less and suffered the most extraordinary difficulties. Was that coincidence or simply bad luck? And yet again, there are times in my novels where characters have simply run off with the story, leaving me huffing and puffing to keep up, fingers flying. It doesn’t seem important to me to have an answer. Life hands us what it hands us and the same is true of writing.

The really important thing is not to let it slow you down. If we get to overthinking, man, creative living—and particularly creative writing—flies right out the window, angels or no angels.

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