Writer get asked about ideas a lot, as in "Where do you get them?" The snarky answer is to say, in full out serious mode, "From the idea store."
Yes, I admit, I've said it a few times.
But the truth is that ideas (at least for me) come from EVERYWHERE! And yes, I do keep an "idea file" where I jot down interesting tidbits that might someday find their way into one of my stories. Or even become an entire story. I never quite know.
For example, the local news last night had two pieces that could easily be turned into books. Now I'm talking just my local area, not international news where something like a major corporation was found to be wire tapping all kinds of famous people's phones. Or even national news like the mother who was exonerated for killing her toddler even though she blatantly lied to authorities about the child's whereabouts. These two stories were equally tragic, but involved people who live only a few miles from me.
First was the newlywed couple who were on their honeymoon in the Bahamas. They were in a double parasail and the harness broke. She was killed and he was seriously injured. How sad, but also great fodder for characters.
Second was the charter fishing boat that sank in the Sea of Cortez in the middle of the night in an unexpected storm. There were twenty-seven people on board and as of last night six were still missing. There were several local men on that boat who survived the harrowing ordeal. One man was interviewed on two different local news stations. He survived by grabbing the lid of an ice chest and floating on it for several hours. Then he swam five miles to some rocks jutting out of the water, climbed on them, and waited until daylight to be rescued by some other passing fishermen.
The part that really stayed with me about this man's story was how he described being flung into the water as the ship was struck by a huge wave. He said when he got back to the surface and looked at the ship, it's bow was underwater and the stern was sticking straight up in the air "...like the Titanic" and then it sank.
Truth really is stranger than fiction, and nothing drives home that point better than watching the news! I don't know if I will ever use either of these real-life happenings in a story, but they are definitely going into that "idea file."
What about you? Have you heard or read any story worthy ideas lately? Please share them with all of us!