It’s a common question for those of us who make our living by creating imaginary worlds and inviting curious readers in. And it’s something I’m thinking about as I begin this new project. I imagine the answer is a bit different for every creator.
For me, there is almost never a “lightning bolt” of inspiration. Instead, it’s an accumulation of small ideas, of bits and pieces that weave together over the course of months or years.
For this new project? A major idea for the world came from an anime I watched two decades ago. The protagonist’s struggle came from a conversation with a friend over barbecue two years ago. The magic borrows a little something from a half-dozen sources.
I’m of the opinion that inspiration for stories can be found everywhere. From arguments with friends, to the movies we watch, to the news that surrounds us. The real world is far stranger than any fiction I might invent, and serves as an overflowing garden of ideas.