Where Do Nightmares Come From?

Hey guys, Happy Holloween! My favorite holiday of the year is here and I wanted to wish everyone a fun and safe outing tonight.

Little update: I entered a flash fiction challenge over at the very talented Chuck Wendig's site TerribleMinds a few weeks ago and lo and behold, I won. You can see my story here .

Now, onward and forward. Just some quick musings this week on the interim of completing a project and beginning a new one.

I just recently finished my second novel and I have a new idea for my third which will be wholly unlike anything else I've done, but I got to thinking about the process of birthing ideas, or more exactly where they come from. I always try to include a little explanation in my books about where I got the ideas for them but then I asked myself, but really, where do they start? 

Hell if I know.

This new story spawned from seeing a few dead leaves floating along the ground as I took a walk with my family. In a period of five minutes I had characters stepping out of the darkness and into shadow, a plot that is ambitious but doable, and a new POV for me for storytelling.

All I can tell you is that stories seem to be something organic to each and every one of us. Stephen King says they're always there and we find them, dig them up. I agree. They're inside of us all whether we know it or not. From the quagmire of our dreams, fears, sins, and choices they emerge and slither to the forefront of our minds. In my case they're usually nightmares that come to me in the day. I'm just tickled that I'm able to express them into something that other people can enjoy.

So whether the ideas for your work come from nature, your family, or your subconscious, the most important thing you can do is grab them by the throat and hold them up to the light to see what they're made of. You may be surprised by what you find.