One of the most often asked questions is “Where do you get your ideas?” The truth is life gives you the ideas. For example, yesterday. I was out working with the WGA & YABS and when I came back to my car, I noticed fifty (at least) dead flies on my hood, more in the windshield well.
First of all, I’m totally creeped out because no other vehicle seems to have this problem. Of course, they’re all SUVs, so perhaps they have dead bugs but I just can’t see. But as I drive away (fast, so the bugs will drop off), I’m left wondering how & why the mass deaths happened on my car…is it the result of being parked by trees and perhaps the city truck by mine had sprayed the branches? Could it be because my car is black and the sheer heat of the surface fried these poor little guys on contact? I know there’s a rational explanation.
The trick to writing is to come up with the irrational explanation and through the writing, make it seem common sense…could this be some weird genetic experiment by a shadowy branch of the government? Is it possible that a stalker or serial killer has chosen my character as his/her next victim and this is his/her calling card? Maybe my protagonist has super power she’s unaware of, and this is the initial manifestation…
Ideas are everywhere. The thing to do is keep your eyes open and start asking, “What if…?”