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Writing = sudoku

I sold a short story! Woo!

Well, OK. The contract isn't actually signed, so I may be tempting fate, but one of my objectives for the year was to restart my short story writing and there's nothing like selling a short you've not actually written yet to kick something to life. More details on the collection etc when it is actually announced.

I've been doing the research for the story (acute eyes might have spotted a theme to my tagging last week) and, for once, I can actually trace the evolution of the idea. This backtracking was triggered this afternoon, when I suddenly remembered a restaurant in town in which to have a celebratory lunch tomorrow (not only did I sell a story but I did it on my birthday - go me!), after rejecting all the usual places as either too everyday, not open or too familiar. It was only after thinking "aha! The Red Square!" that I realised that a Russian restaurant was the obvious place to celebrate selling a story which uses Russian history in its background.

So what are the roots?

  • I'd read an article on the Amber Room years ago, and flagged it at the time as interesting
  • My editor has a daughter called Amber
  • Although technically on holiday this week, I have had nagging guilt over some work for a Russian client, the CDs of which are sitting on my desk
  • I had a conversation two weeks ago about how electronic classification and document retrival works at a national library
And somehow, all those pieces slid about my brain until they interlocked and suggested a story. This is why the "where do you get your questions from?" thing is so hard to answer for me. I get them through my subconscious playing sudoku with fragments until suddenly there's a whole thing scribbled out in my notebook and my conscious brain thinks "where did all that comes from?" before filling in any missing numbers. I wish the answer was more easily replicated by others, but it's not.

I just read too much.

Posted @ 12:30 am on Thursday, April 06, 2006
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