Anatomy of a Story: Through the Eye of a Needle
It's been nearly a year since I dissected one of my stories and the creative process which led to it. I've had several stories published since my last 'Anatomy of Story' back in October 2009 (see here) - six in this year alone, in fact. But I'd sooner not write about one of my stories if people can't read it, and though I may only have sold first serial rights to the magazines which published those stories, I feel it's better to wait a suitable period before sticking the story up here on my blog.
Unless, of course, the story was published online. In which case I can just link to it.
Which brings us to 'Through the Eye of a Needle', which was published in M-Brane SF #19, and is available on the website as #19 is the sample issue for the magazine.
'Through the Eye of a Needle' is, I think, the first story I've ever written to a specific market. I wrote it to submit to Catastrophia, an anthology of post-catastrophe stories edited by Allen Ashley and published by PS Publishing. Usually, I have an idea - sometimes it includes a plot, other times not even that - I work on it until it's a story, then I submit it to whichever venue I feel it best suits... and then the next best... and then the next... and so on.
The central idea of 'Through the Eye of a Needle' came from a couple of New Scientist articles. (I subscribe to their feed, rather than to the magazine itself. I especially like the Zoologger column - some of the creatures it describes are even more bizarre than any alien race invented by sf writers). Anyway, there were a couple of articles about creating an artificial sunshade high in the atmosphere using particulates which, it was hoped, would help alleviate global warming. Both articles were strongly against the idea, suggesting that the effects on the climate could be catastrophic. I filed the idea away for a possible story.
(Rest of post on It Doesn't Have To Be Right...)