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My husband says I have no imagination . . .

I thought I’d play with Storycasting.com this weekend (someone tweeted a link, but I’ve forgotten who – sorry).

It’s not a natural choice for me, because I’ve never been much good at playing fantasy-casting, of my own characters or of anybody else’s, but I thought I might as well give it a shot, if only on the basis that all discoverability is good discoverability.

As I really should have expected, despite spending most of this week’s commutes mulling it over, I didn’t get anywhere with it.

Partly it’s because my imagination doesn’t seem, on the whole, to work that way. Kate is . . . Kate. I don’t seem to naturally make the little, practical, leaps that link up someone I know to an actor. Well, sometimes I do, but even when there is a link I find that I shy away from it consciously when I’m writing. Pavel can go quite George Clooney on me when I’m not paying attention, especially in his more public scenes, but if I let that happen I’m afraid I’d let it change the way I saw him, and he needs to stay slighter, more evidently Slavic, and (sorry George) younger.

The younger thing is a recurrent problem, because I haven’t got a TV. I have nothing against TV, as such, except that in the presence of one I will invariably watch three hours of unutterable rubbish and then wonder where the evening went. This means that when I do, triumphantly, manage a perfect casting (Hal, who you haven’t really met yet, is so clearly and obviously supposed to be played by Robert Hardy that I don’t know how I missed it) I realize almost at once that the actor I have in mind is now at least twenty years too old for the part.

There’s also a second problem arising from my lack of a TV, which is that the mental image conjured up for me by a particular actor is based almost entirely on their radio work. I was wondering about Benedict Cumberbatch for Thwaite, and I think that would work quite well, but I’m afraid it would give you quite the wrong idea about Thwaite. You see, I’m practically certain that you’re thinking of Sherlock, and I’m thinking of a lightly less hapless version Captain Crieff.

So anyway, Viennese Waltz is up on Storycasting, so if you happen to be a member and a Viennese Waltz reader, have yourself a ball. Just don’t be too impatient for me to join in.

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