What about the idea that 'there's nothing new under the sun'? I wonder where the real fresh stuff lives. You know, the stories where you can just smell something exciting, something honest and original. The ones that reek of real thought, not recycled ideas. Is it possible to come up with something really new? Does it matter?
And I'm starting to think that holing oneself up in a stuffy little flat is not the best way to find new inspiration. I get a lot of my best ideas when walking, and if I didn't get so self conscious I'd carry a dictaphone. (Or if I could remember where I put it, which drawer the spare tapes are in and what kind of batteries it takes.)
Cos out there, right in the sweaty heart of the city - god, it's breathtaking. You spend hours pondering made up people, trying to make sure their actions are believable and consistent and the disbelief is properly suspendable. That there is some kind of plot doing something worthwhile.
And then you walk down Argyle street and there's punk kids crying in the midday sun, there's ageing transvestites buying fried chicken buckets, there's junkies getting slashed with razors, there's men in bowler hats eating Bright Red Apples...characters are jaw-droppingly inconsistent all over the place, they commit totally unbelievable acts. And synchronicity - don't get me started on the Deus Ex Machina. 'Because it just was'. Real life makes a very badly written story.
(This is where I have to remind myself of the division between life and stories. Again.)