I can find a story idea almost anywhere, but sometimes a hot topic trending on line or a major news story can provide a jumping off point to create a story. In my case, I doubt any of my readers would recognize the news item that ended up in my story by the time I put my spin on things. Of course, news items tend to be fleeting things that are in the public view for a few days or weeks and then are displaced by some new happening. By the time my book is published the trigger item has long-since disappeared from the public’s consciousness.
My book, Progression, is set in the League of Planetary Systems, but its origins were definitely earth-based. In 2014 there were a few airplane disappearances that captured the world’s attention. A lot of people found it difficult to believe that with all of our technology today, we could lose a large commercial airliner without a trace. I coupled that story with a conspiracy theory that’s been around for a while about top scientists mysteriously disappearing. I added in another conspiracy theory about a large engineering company. I doubt anyone who reads the book would realize what those foundational elements were. It’s an entertaining and exciting story the grew out of news stories and conspiracy theories.
These trigger items can also be localized. Aquapillar, Book 2 in my Bug Hunters in Space series, was based on the Gold King Mine spill that took place in southern Colorado and had a major effect on northern New Mexico. Although the story was very local to where we lived in New Mexico at the time, the book is set in the League of Planetary Systems.
One of the most enjoyable parts of writing fiction is that you can find the seed of an idea anywhere and nurture it into something completely new and unique because in the end…
Its all about the tale.