The ingredients of the story I had in the back of my head combined in ways that were better than I had hoped when I began. (Writing's a lot like cooking. Sometimes the cake won't rise, no matter what you do, and every now and again the cake tastes better than you ever could have dreamed it would.)
Neil Gaiman talking about writing the short story A Study in Emerald as explained in the introduction in Fragile Things which I am currently reading as part of the RIP VI readalong.
This particular mix won the Hugo Award in 2004 for the Best Short Story, so he obviously got the mix just right.
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