It's funny to hear authors talk about getting ideas. Some people just hate this question, while others laugh at it. I think it's one of those taboo topics, mostly.
So, of course I'm talking about it, LOL.
I'm allowing myself one week to get back into the Big N, get reacquainted and my mind re-organized with it. I'm also doing a little research, which for me is SO much fun! In school, I was quickly bored by history, but then in college I had a good friend who was a historian. Once I clicked into what a creative art history is, I loved it.
And now researching spies and tradecraft and current events is a big love. I love the way politics and motivations intertwine like a big puzzle. I love the way allegiances and loyalties work for and against each other.
I find the idea that I'm writing about spies a tad preposterous (how do you get from music to erotica to ... spies?), but the subject just endlessly fascinates me. I can be so tired my eyes are closing and my brain is fuzzy at best, but put a dryly-written military, espionage, or history book in front of me, and my mind just snaps alive.
I could research for years.
I'm allowing myself only one week before I get back to writing, because I could get sucked into research for MONTHS. When my one publisher stopped buying and almost folded, I researched for SIX months.
I still feel like I know nothing.
Anyway, I was wandering around Borders, trying to come up with an idea that will solve a plot issue.
When I'm not trying to come up with ideas, they're a dime a dozen. I can't shut them up. I have more story ideas than I could write in a lifetime!
And then when I need an idea, they whisk away into hiding.
Where do you get your ideas? Okay, you don't have to answer. :-) I'd still be interested, if you do want to answer!
I guess my answer would be: I either laboriously and carefully make them up, or they spark off in my brain all the time. The sparks are more fun than the labor, that's for sure!