Where do stories come from?

On a writers’ forum, someone posed the question. “Where do your story ideas come from?”

For me, it’s largely environmental.

I pull characters and situations/plots from real life. I may hear a snippet of conversation while waiting in line for a cup of coffee, or I see someone and wind a story around them.

Example: I’ve been spending a lot of the pandemic people watching at the beach. I’d been pondering doing a series based on random meetings.

Then one day as I was coming back from a walk, I saw a cute guy parked beside me. He said, “Hi.” and we chatted as he pumped up an inflatable paddleboard. I thought he’d make a good hero.

The TreeAt this same beach, a tree washed up on the mud flat last fall. It’s mostly submerged at high tide but you can walk around it at low tide. It’s coated in barnacles and has a kite string wrapped around one of the branches. I decided to make the tree a villain, to create a chaos point in the story.

Add in the love interest, a distraction to make him hit the tree and require rescuing and 💥bam💥, you have a plot for a romance with a strong feisty female lead and a strong man who still needs a bit of rescuing.

For the same series, I’ve spotted a construction foreman overseeing a new walkway over protected nesting areas. Bless his heart he bent over right in front of me to show off his great ass. How can I NOT write a novel about him.

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