Sometimes I play a game with myself. I think about all the problems I’m having in a novel before I go to sleep. Maybe they’re logistical problems, such as how do I get character A from one city to the next within a certain time frame, and sometimes they’re existential problems, such as what does character A care about so much that he will do this one thing I need him to do without it seeming weird?
All writers play games like this. What if? or How about this? or What if that happens?
A lot of times the wandering I do during the day–on the Internet, at the store, or inside my imagination becomes the tinder for whatever idea will eventually come. All I need is the spark. And usually, once I get a good night’s sleep, that first thought I have in the morning will provide the answer I need.
Today’s revelation came as the result of some Aubrey Beardsley prints I saw while I was wasting time surfing the web for fin de siecle erotic art yesterday. And it works.