I’m often asked where I get my story ideas. To tell you the truth, they can come from anywhere and at the most unexpected times. It pays to carry a notebook and pen with you. Needless to say, I didn’t have one when the idea for The Fourth String popped into my head because I was listening to a symphony at the Sydney Opera House. An odd time and place to be thinking about murder but there you are, I’m probably a bit odd and my imagination is persistent. I haven’t decided who will be murdered, but the fourth string of a cello is the murder weapon.
You can build a story from a thought, an experience, a fleeting event, in fact anything at all. Once the spark is there your imagination can run rampant. You are on your way. And don’t be surprised if that initial idea gets buried or changed as your story takes shape. This happened to me when I wrote The Celtic Dagger. My idea came from a news item I heard one day about a scientist whose car was found on a bridge. The keys were still in the car, but the scientist wasn’t to be found. (I’ve often wondered what happened to that poor man.) With that one news item I started writing, but the scientist became an archaeologist and the bridge turned into stolen artefacts.
So, what does this tell you? Don’t dismiss anything you see or hear because it might be the spark for your masterpiece!
Where do your story ideas come from?