I think the big question everyone has in mind for their favorite author is, “How did you ever get the idea for that story?”
I’m not saying I’m anyone’s favorite author. But I will tell you how I get my ideas for a story.
Usually the idea arises from a confluence of emotions and thoughts born out of context, memory, wishful thinking and a little imagination.
Imagine you’re driving to another state. Let’s pretend that you only have the radio to listen to (instead of your iPod, Spotify, Pandora, iTunes etc.) and when you cross the border your radio station of choice fizzles out. You tune the radio until you find something you can enjoy (or at least tolerate) but here’s the catch (there’s always a catch): it comes in short bursts of clarity followed by static and cross-interference from other station where you hear other voices too briefly and faintly to discern well.
That’s kind of how stories arise in my own mind. They come from witnessing my mind and the world around me. Both are broadcasting different things and sometimes they simply get jumbled up together. The fragments of static are usually the places I go looking most carefully.
This is pretty much how The Wizard & The Jewel came about. All I remember was reading the beginning of someone else’s book about a witch, a mystery cozy and it got me to thinking about Harry Potter and then I was thinking about Superman and next thing you know I was in a tizzy about our political system. Voila, the seeds for my next novel were planted.
Out of that jumbled mess is growing a fine tree of fantasy that I never in a million years would have guessed I would be writing. I can’t wait to share it with you all.
I’m willing to bet that other writers go through something like this in their own world when seeing the glimmer of their new novel in the rough so to speak.
One last thing. What I started out writing has changed a good bit from those initial pieces. But the core of them are still the foundational background.
Are you a writer? How do you get your ideas? Sound off in the comments below.