Okay, true confession here. I get really weirded out when writers tell me they have a hard time coming up with ideas. I mean, that’s what makes you want to be a writer, right? Because you have all these story ideas in your head busting to come out? (if this isn’t the case with you, you gotta tell me . . . what drives you to write if not the ideas?)
For me, ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes a scrap of song lyric just hits me and I go “whoa. They didn’t mean it that way, but it would be so cool . . . ” Other times, it’s a fairy tale that I’d love to see done differently (LAMENT and BALLAD). Once, it was because I was trying to write a short story for a contest about lycanthropes, even though I didn’t do werewolves, and dreamt about werewolves all the next night (STILL WOLF WATCHING). One of my novels that’s in synopsis stage is from a blank e-mail I got.
The big thing for me is “what if?” I’ll see something and I’ll say “what if x happened?” It’s why I love waiting at airports. All those weird characters walked along and the what if game becomes super fun. “Why is she hurrying? Who is he calling? Look at those shoes, aren’t they strange? Why’s he wearing them? What if . . . ”
And I’m off and running.