Some authors don't like to be asked where they get their ideas from. Not that it's a big secret or anything. They just aren't always sure. They can't pin it down. The idea could have come from a number of little things that grow and mutate until they become this BIG IDEA. Or it could have come from a dream. The idea could have been sparked by a tv show or a news item. Or it could have just been formed in the deep recesses of their creative mind.
My ideas usually come from a specific moment when I'm smacked between the eyes with an idea that won't let go. The more excited I get and impatient to write, the better I know it will be.
Secret of Undine came to me on a camping trip. My daughter asked why the water sparkled in the late afternoon sun and I told her it was the water faeries just under the surface. From there it was easy to come up with the story of these kids who meet trolls and water faeries in a place where they would least expect it: a campground.
The title, Wish You Weren't, came to me on the way to Writer's Day. As I drove to Thousand Oaks I jotted down the title and a one line summary. (You don't want to be on the freeway near me when a story idea hits. Just sayin...) Once I started writing, the story changed. A LOT. (Can you say pantser?!) I got stalled. But my breakthrough in the middle came from reading a nonfiction book on the power of wishes. It helped me figure out what I wanted to say.
My current WIP came from a single line in a nonfiction book about a process used on...well, I'm not going to spill. But suffice it to say, a story was born, from truth into fiction. And I'm very impatient to write more.
What about you. Where do your ideas come from?