Although no one has actually asked me where I get my ideas, I have gotten plenty of other questions along those lines. The thing is, because writing is so individual, and so unconscious, it is pretty hard to answer any of these questions at all satisfactorily.
The ideas just pop into my head. I don’t know it it’s because of something I’ve read or what. Sometimes, the idea is fully formed. Other times, I need to massage it into something workable.
Then, because I don’t outline, I write scene by scene. Does this mean I have to go back and rework until I’m heartily sick of the entire work? Yes. But, by not outlining, I allow my characters to find their own space. Sometimes, as with Lydia, they become something different than I had intended. They take over, in effect.
Other times, the characters only become fully formed after I’ve rewritten them three or four times.
Although I think the writer who said, and I’m paraphrasing, that writing is easy; you just sit down and open a vein, was definitely overstating the case, it is true that it can be a much more difficult job than anyone would believe. I must have reread A Simple Murder at least 25 times – and that’s after I thought I’d finished it.
One definitely has to be addicted to writing to be able to continue it, especially in the face of rejection.!