Every author gets asked this question at some point in their career. Despite wonderful answers from popular authors people still ask. Why?
Because, like love, the process and relationship between the author and ideas is different for each person.
I’d even say that the relationship between the author and each individual piece and the ideas it holds are different.
Yes, but how do YOU get your ideas?
I have three different ways to get a story. I can use one, two, or all three in different measures to come up with different parts of a full piece.
The one I use most for my science fiction and mystery novels – What if? What if there was a colony on the moon? What if that colony was secluded for a long time so that they developed their own culture? What if they were contacted by aliens?
The one I use most often when I’m stuck in a rut – The challenge! Can I write a full story in one scene involving one character? Can I write a good short story using present tense? Can I do both at the same time?
The one I use most for stream of conscious writing – Mood portrayal. How can I get the reader to feel like they are on the ship when the Jewel Stealing Space Cats ship is hit? Can I get them to feel a sense of panic portrayed through all of the senses but never mentioned outright? Can I get that feeling to turn into amazement that they survived?
How do you come up with your ideas?