Wednesday, July 10
Just Playing Around
My name is Kristi, and I'm a Sudoku addict.
The funny thing is, I've learned things from the game, and reinforced other firmly held beliefs. Like not giving up, that thinking outside the box is a good thing and that the best feeling is fitting that last piece of the puzzle in it's slot. It's also taught me a few things about writing. Things like...
1) Every puzzle (or story) has a key. Sometimes, you just have to sweat blood to find it and figure out how to use it.
2) Even Sudoku has a Sagging Middle. Figuring out the first few numbers is simple, but toward the middle of the puzzle things can get dicey. Maybe you've misplaced one number -- but that one number messes up four more. That is the sagging middle. In romance writing terms, the sagging middle (for me) has too little because too much is already out there. I've put too much information, too much heat, too much backstory in the wrong place, the best way to fix this is to see #3.
3) Erasers (and the Delete key) are our friends. Once you've misplaced one number and that misplaced number has morphed into eight, the best thing to do is bring out the eraser. When you hit the middle and things just aren't moving, the best option is to go back to the beginning. Whether you choose to delete it all or edit the existing copy the D-K will be used. Probably often. Don't be afraid of it.
4) No good ending comes without sweat and tears. I don't know about other Sudoku fans, but I can't leave a puzzle - no matter how badly I've screwed it up - unfinished. Sometimes that means I spend another hour trying to figure it out. To me, that is time well spent. This is the same in writing. If a book isn't ripping you apart in one way or another, you may not have a book. Fiction is about triumph over adversity. Not rosy glows and easy fixes. I'll admit I have a few unfinished works of art (hardy-har-har) sitting under the bed. But the stories I love, the characters that speak to me all have their stories finished. Or at least in some form of completion. I just can't leave them alone. And that is okay.
5) The devil is in the details. The numbers in a Sudoku puzzle only go in specific places. One number will only go in one place for every row, column and nine-square box, but you usually don't find out you've misplaced a number until it's too late. This is also true for novels. Whether you write suspense, action-adventure, romantic comedies or paranormals if you don't have the details right the ending won't sit well. You may not even get to the end...
6) Finishing a puzzle (or the last edit on your final draft) is so worth it. There is nothing like the glow of filling in that last box with the #9 (or writing The End) and knowing that you couldn't have done it better. That feeling may only last a few minutes, but it's infinitely worth it.
Any other gamers out there? What have you learned or had reinforced by your favorite games?