I am often asked how I come up with my ideas. The short answer is - they just come to me. Something will catch my eye or an idea/question/phrase will grab my attention and my brain uses that as a springboard to launch into the fantastic world of "what if".
I long ago discarded any restraints to the "what if" world so that if the moon looks like the half-lidded yellow eye of a Dragon, I can quickly construct the outline of the Dragon circling Earth and imagine what will happend when he opens his gaping maw, jagged teeth dripping fiery venom as he lunges toward Earth...
But I digress.
The long answer is it's all about what sparks your imagination. I have a friend who loves pictures - she snaps pictures, she cuts out pictures and does collages, she uses photo shop like it's going out of style...that speaks to her. Another friend can see entire battle scenes when he listens to instrumental music. My hubby can envision a three-dimensional sculpture and create it out of cake. (and aren't I the lucky girl?!)
For me, it's a combination of visual and audio. Music inspires me. I use it when I write - at the moment I'm using mostly the soundtrack to Batman Begins but I've been known to write to Evanescence, Harry Potter, Seether, Enya, and Mozart. I can slide right into the mood of the music and let it take me where it will. I recently wrote a song while at a concert - I just kept texting phrases to my home email and I cleaned it up a few days later. I don't let location or event get in the way of a rush of creativity.
Words inspire me. I can hear a phrase and be so captivated that I will spend three pages exploring the emotional curves of those words until I wring out every last impression and satisfy myself that I've accurately transfered the weight and depth of what was in my head onto paper.
Pictures inspire me. I have a collection of images snatched from Google that catch my eye and fire my imagination. Here are a few:
Sometimes taking one idea and talking it through with my hubby or my critique partner pushes me to stretch the borders of my creativity until I reach that magical place where I know I've got something.
I think being creative comes down to knowing what speaks to you and to carving out time and space to let it run free.
Currently listening: Fuel - Something Like Human