So I've been thinking about writing a Christmas novella (more on the reason for this later this week), but I really had no idea where to begin. I knew I wanted to set it in the town of Pine Point, because that's where my novel Summer's Song takes place, and if all goes well, this novella will be a precursor to a series set in that town. Beyond that, I had no idea who the characters were or what was going to happen to them.
So I was reading the Best Friends magazine over breakfast last week (put out by one of the biggest and best animal rescue organizations in the country), and I came across an article on people and their "pet soulmates" -- you know, those pets that somehow were more special than the rest, that you just knew would have a special place in your heart for all time.
And I started thinking.
What if my heroine is an over-the-top animal lover? What if the hero doesn't want anything to do with them?
And the ideas sprang from there. I've spent the last 5 years volunteering at an animal shelter, and I'm good friends with both the past and present managers, so I have a pretty good idea of what's involved. Besides, who doesn't love a feel-good animal story around the holidays?
So there you have it. I've written the first two chapters, and I have a general idea about the conflicts coming up, so while nothing's concrete, I have a much better idea of this story than I did a week ago.
And that, my friends, is where story ideas come from.