Yes, there is a secret place where writers get ideas for stories. It has nothing to do with joining the Writers Guild and gaining access to a library of ideas where writers can select one that interests them, but that is not the case. That’s pure fantasy. At least that is what my fellow Guild members said to write.
No, ideas come from the deep, warped, recesses of the mind. Case in point. I was walking through a cemetery near where I live because it is a nice walk, if you don’t mind walking among the dead that is. I saw an elderly man walking among the tombstones carrying a shovel. I wondered what he was doing with that shovel, so I stopped to watch him, but then changed my mind. My thinking was that if I watched him and what he was doing turned out to be something innocuous I would forget the episode. So I turned and walked away and let my imagination run wild. I asked myself what would an elderly man do carrying a shovel in a cemetery. Thus the hook for my short story “Flowers for Martha Clemens.” The reason was romantic in a crazed, morbid fashion.
Another time I was watching about eight Constance Bennett movies on TCM and wondered in my enjoyment of the movies what would happen to someone who enjoyed the films too much. That turned into another short story, “An evening with Constance Bennett.”
A writers mind works in the ‘what if’ gear. What if I were killed in a car wreck and there was an afterlife, what would then happen. What would the-for lack of better word-ghost do? What adjustments needed to be made?
Once the idea germinates the story often goes in unexpected directions. I do not like to plot out the story, preferring to let the characters and resulting action propel the story. I sometimes am surprised myself where the story leads.
How the writer presents his tale is revealing of the authors state of mind. And since my stories are humorous, scary, and sometimes warped, my quirkiness is revealed.
If you have an interest in reading these weird tales along with how each idea came into being, here is a link to my Kindle page at Amazon where you will find “Cemetery Tales and other Phantasms.” http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38