I've been to a lot of author talks and regardless of the audience, the inevitable question always comes up: Where do you get your ideas from?
Even if the author is gracious enough to avoid the eye roll, I'm not. (Guess I'll need to work on that before I get published!)
The question doesn't annoy me just because everybody asks it. The truth is, most writers can't pinpoint a specific time or place where an idea comes from. At least I can't. Every book tends to come from a different spark. There isn't some magic box under the bed that writers pull ideas from. (If you have one, please share. I'm willing to split royalties.)
As I worked on edits for a book that I'm not ready to give up on yet, a new idea came to me, an idea that would add depth to the character and offer him an impossible choice. I have no clue where the idea came from. Unfortunately, I also have no clue as to how I'm going to incorporate this brilliant plot point. So I turn it over in my head and pray to whatever deity impressed the idea on me in the first place, to follow up with the second half of the equation because the drivel I've been typing out just isn't cutting it.
I guess that's the persistence part of this writing journey. Even if it's drivel, I keep typing, keep writing until it makes sense. At this point, I'm still willing to believe that if I keep at it, I'll figure it out. Eventually.