At least once a week, someone asks me where I get all my ideas for book plots. I tell them I go out to the backyard and pluck them off of an Idea Tree. They snicker or say, "Yeah, right." So where do a writer's ideas come from?
For me, it's a complex answer. As far back as I can recall, I've been thinking up stories. My Barbie dolls had the most convoluted backstories you could imagine. I knew their history with Ken, Ken's emotional baggage, Francie's inferiority complex since she was always the sidekick, never the star. Even little Skipper had skeletons in her pink plastic wardrobe.
My stuffed animals formed a society with assorted roles - governor, mayor, police chief, resident movie star. And yes - I was a weird little kid, what with all my toys taking on lives of their own! But my point is, stories have always been floating around in my head, dying to come out. Now they come to life on paper. How great is that? These days, fodder is everywhere, from the newspaper to the PTA to the neighborhood goings-on. All I have to do to find the first thread of a story is to look around me.
What about you? How do you come up with your story ideas? Have you always had stories dancing inside your brain or do you struggle to come up with a plot?