I love when people ask where my ideas come from. On occasion, I can give a direct answer. Certain scenes were sparked from experience. Others derive from observation. But, despite my W.I.P. being a realistic novel based on contemporary issues, the bulk of my characters and plot have evolved strictly from the thoughts in my head. And normally, I can't explain how.
I always considered myself to have an overactive imagination. In school, I was frequently caught daydreaming. I wasn't trying to be rude; the events in my brain were just far more exciting than the events in the classroom. Yet another reason creativity should be an integral part of public education.
As a teacher, imagination let me bring lessons to life. I wasn't content lecturing or having kids complete worksheets. My goal was to bring the topic alive and have students learn through all five senses. Music, food, costumes, and props were often incorporated.
My job connected me with the creative process on a deeper level than anything prior. Today, I realize this contributed to my writing developments, even though writing was not on my mind at that point. Both endeavors train the brain in similar ways, as we are all forced to engage an audience and hold their interest for an extended period of time. The key to doing so lies in the imagination.
Where do your story ideas come from?