It’s sort of a cliche to say that artists get ideas from everywhere, but like most things, it’s a cliche because it’s true.
In my case, my ideas come from just about everywhere. A friend who grew up on a farm provided me with the inspiration for a short story in college. The Undesirables is based on my own life, but also what sort of life I’d be living in an alternative universe (being an opera singer), and current events. I dated a guy in college who spent a lot of time in Britain, and his comments about the weather were integral to the writing of The Gift of Snow. He was also initially piquing my interest in contemporary British life and culture, which play a huge role in that novel. A piece I’m currently working on involves the life of my grandmother, who apparently was a singer but never went to college to pursue it, even though she could have. Watching the film of the musical Carousel last week has also given me an idea for a story. I’ve gotten bits of character ideas from people in line at Barnes and Noble.
Music and books always play a big part in my novels. My characters like to read and sing or play instruments. Many of my current novels take place in the Midwest, because that’s where I ‘m from, and that’s what I know–but I’m also an Anglophile at heart (hence the setting of Gift).
How do you find ideas for writing, or whatever your creative muse is (composing, drawing, etc.)? Let me know in the comments.