Where do ideas come from? Everywhere.
On any given day numerous ideas are swirling around in my head. I get many ideas from everyday life. I store these interesting bits in my mind and sometimes they show up in my stories. Alas, most of the ideas are still waiting to make it into a story because they simply aren’t pushy enough to get me in front of my laptop and writing.
Ideas can also come from past experiences. A few years ago, I wrote a story called “A Summer to Remember,” in which the main character—an African American girl—meets an Irish guy at a summer camp. It’s filled with teen angst and it partially relates to an experience I had at a summer camp while I was the bookkeeper there. Of course, my experience was no way near as dramatic as that of Branna’s but I did meet a “J.T.” at summer camp, and he was Irish.
Though it may sound strange ideas can also come from dreams. I’m a big dreamer. I’m also a big dreamer who has a hard time remembering the dream once I wake, which makes me upset because I know it was a good dream that could’ve been a good story.
:-) A few years ago I wrote a full-length manuscript that takes place in a completely different world where race is no longer affiliated with skin color/nationality but by kingdom. The entire summer that I was writing this story, I was dreaming. I would wake up from a dream and immediately rush to my computer to write the scenes. Hopefully, that manuscript will be published soon.
And of course, ideas can come from having an overactive imagination. When I was younger, my mom said that I had an imaginary friend that I’d play with. I assume that most children who have no other children to play with also have imaginary friends. Still, I believe that this is good for creativity. My mother used to ask me how my friend looked, what she was wearing, what she was doing...and I’d always have an answer. When I was about ten, I created a story about dragons who acted like humans. Now here I am creating stories about fallen gods, werewolves, and fantasy kingdoms—all because of an overactive imagination that was never curbed.
So ideas are just naturally out there. You just have to open yourself up to them.