Ideas can come from everywhere, whether it be dreams, your life, or the life of someone else. Ultimately, they will hit you at random.
For example, my short story Wolf-Thief was inspired by my then strained relationship with my brother.
Once you finally have the idea figured out, it’s time to put some meat on it’s bones. If you want to follow the snowflake method of outlining you can start out with a sentence and then slowly add more and more until you have it where you feel like it is thought out enough. You can also go another way and use a mind map, which helps if you usually go into tangents. Like me.
Now the disclaimer about ideas is that they can turn into complete flops, but you should never feel bad about those that do. The truth is that not all ideas are good ones, but the bad ones aren’t necessarily a waste of time. We learn better from those errors than we do from the trials alone. You can learn a lot more about the workings of plots and characters and find what your style of writing really is when you go over your bad ideas.
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