I often wonder how authors came up with great ideas. I mean, how did JK Rowling imagine the magical world of Harry Potter and how did Suzanne Collins come up with the concept for The Hunger Games? (If you haven't read it you are missing out--get to the bookstore!) When I read a un-put-downable new book my first thought is always, "How did they come up with that idea."
When I first started writing I didn't have very good ideas.
Then one day, during a very bad windstorm last winter, our lamppost blew over. My husband was anxious to fix it, so he went off to Home Depot, bought a new post, came home, and started digging out the old one. He dug a very deep hole in order to remove the old post. It was dark outside by the time he finished it.
I looked out the window at my husband digging in the dirt and I remembered that my dad used to tell me stories about digging tunnels in a vacant lot near his house when he was a kid.
A light bulb flipped on in my brain and I got the basic idea for Underground.
I started writing that night and had the first draft done two months later.
It seems like most of my ideas come out of the blue (when I'm not thinking about trying to come up with ideas :).
How do you come up with story ideas? Can you sit down and brainstorm and or do they come when you least expect it?