One question writers are frequently asked is “Where do you get your ideas?” Some play the “what if?” game when a scenario strikes their fancy and a spin is put on it. Other writers will say they get their ideas from dreams. Or if they write horror they write about what scares them.
My own ideas come from a combination of the above but I’d say the main ingredient to any idea a writer uses is observation. Overheard conversations while walking down the street or people watching are great places to start when feeling stuck with nothing to write about.
The other evening I was driving home from my day job when I saw something out of the ordinary in my peripheral vision and I had to see what it was. Waiting for the light to change gave me the opportunity to look over and see someone lying on the ground in the doorway of a bar.
His pants were pulled down and I could clearly see his pale skin from the small of his back to his thighs. This was unusual to see at 6pm on a cold evening. A man stood in the doorway and threw a puffy blue jacket over the man’s head. He went back inside the bar while the man straightened his glasses and removed the coat from his face. The light changed to green.
As I zoomed off I thought two things, “There must be a story behind that.” and “I wonder how many people sitting here at this light missed what happened.”