The steps from an idea, which is very inchoate, to a finished product are really incalculable, and it can involve years. To write a novel, so many elements come together. It’s like tributaries making their way into a river. You see the river, and it looks like it’s a coherent whole but, in fact, it’s made up of numberless — perhaps thousands — of small tributaries. And it’s hard even to talk about this phenomenon. It’s a sort of rushing current. If I had an idea, the idea would not be sufficient. It has to be bolstered by something from the unconscious, some kind of sympathy or connection, some sense of drama that’s like a spark of identification. I wanted to write a novel, for instance, about a man who had been falsely accused of a crime and maybe went to prison. And his own children exonerated him, and they set out to redeem him. And that must have been an idea that was in my mind for years. But as I’m working on the novel now, and it’s so different. I remember the genesis, and I couldn’t be writing it without that genesis. But it’s completely different now. And I don’t understand these mysterious processes.