Don’t know if this is something to do with ageing, but I find I’m more interested by character than ideas when it comes to writing these days. I have less idea bursts than I did in my twenties, which scared me for a little while but I’m comfortable in that now. People fascinate me more and I think science fiction, despite being ‘the literature of ideas’ is actually very good for exploring people in fresh ways.
(Perhaps it’s because you see pretty much every combination of personality by the time you’re thirty and have a handle on it all. In a sense it’s a new set of ideas.)
Like, only yesterday, I read an interview with modern artist Jenny Saville and she said this one thing about her childhood, where she described finding all the chatter and eating in the school hall ‘really violent’, and it set me off reading every interview she’d ever given. It was like ‘bang! Here’s your next character for your next book (or part of a character)’.
I know this is a self indulgent post but it fascinates me. I’ve never done the like before.