Writers are often asked where they get their ideas.
While I can’t speak for other writers, I know that generally something (anything) sparks a character to start speaking to me. The ones that stick are typically very loud and won’t leave me alone. They tell me their story.
But that’s how the stories get started. Sometimes the more important plot elements of the story come from different places. I never know where I will get inspired.
Here are some examples and a little bit about what they roused:
This was the carpet of a hotel I stayed at. In some ways, the pattern reminded me of Monsters, Inc. But instead of solid doors, there were holes, little windows into other worlds or dimensions. It expanded the Wellsdeep part of Dragons of Wellsdeep. It really made that snap together for me. Just what I was looking for.
This was a tie I found at a thrift store. True story: I love finding cool ties. Loki and his “Puttin’ on the Ritz” style might be the reason (okay, it’s completely the reason) I find ties so fascinating. If it screams Loki, I will touch it. I’ve been known to buy several. Of course, I did have to dress my oldest son for the cover pictures. I don’t know how much of that I’ll be doing in later novellas, but one never knows and I keep looking.
Now, that tie was not one I was looking at for Loki, nor did I purchase it. However, it inspired a doorway in my Stonecharmer book. I haven’t gotten to write about the doorway yet, but it certainly filled in a lot of where I need to go with the story. Other characters in Stonecharmer started coming out after I saw this tie and I got a sense of direction with it. That’s a nice point to be at, where you can see not only the next step, but a fuller map of where you are heading. Being a discovery writer, I don’t like to know the whole story, but I do like to see destinations along the way.
And in looking at these two things, you see that I have a thing about doorways! (grin)
Well, I hope you enjoyed that look into my process.