I used to wonder where writers got their inspirations for the stories they told. I loved the way they seemed to bring even the mundane to life. Once I started writing seriously, I realized that ideas could actually come from anywhere.
One important aspect of inspiration is that it could be ANYTHING. Seriously. As an example, I was walking one day and looked at the road I was walking on and started thinking about how I would describe it. What would my character see? How would he describe what that road looked like to him/her if they too were walking on it? It wasn’t anything extraordinary, but the inspiration of what I write isn’t how I see things, but rather how my characters see them.
This is an ah ha moment if you get it. Don’t look at things for yourself. Rather look at things brand new and describe them as if telling about something wondrous.
A road is no longer just a road. A tree, no longer just a tree. Each thing is seen anew with the eyes of someone who has never seen it before and needs to tell us what it brings to them as a part of the story.
A novel is not just a story about good guys and bad guys and their struggles. A novel is a journey the characters take. Look through the eyes of each and let them tell what it is they see to someone who has never seen it either–the reader.