After the questions about the fake persona were exhausted then came the normal author questions, of course the first being the most popular. You know the one I'm talking about: How do you come up with your ideas? Well, I'm sure that question has many answers and it varies from author to author. My answer, however, generally isn't enough to satisfy people. I tell them imagination. They don't like to hear that because people assume that imagination is something people have or they don't. It's something that we use a lot when we're little, but as adults we have no use for it. Maybe it's because I work with kids on a daily basis and so my imagination is active or it's because people tend to think that as we get older we don't need our imagination so they put it away. Whatever the reason imagination is within all of us, whether you choose to use it or not. I think imagination needs exercise, just like our bodies and minds do.
When I say imagination I mean that I take scenarios and run them through my head. What would happen if... What if this character did that... Lots of times I get my core idea for a story/book in a dream. My imagination works better when I don't force it. The creating something from nothing part is what I cannot teach. I truly believe that coming up with an idea for a story is what makes an author an author. To be honest there is no science, no rubric for being an author. Nothing I could show or teach you when it comes to being creative and coming up with the ideas. I think that has to come from within or from living life and making up your own fiction. But when I add onto it as the story gets written or I sit and brainstorm--that part can be taught through creative writing courses, author studies, English degrees, etc. That part you can learn. Like with anything you want to master or become a professional at, you need to study. For writers that means reading other peoples' work. Dive into your preferred genre that you want to write about and learn everything you can by studying other authors, their writing styles and find a way to make it your own. If you can contribute something different that is wholly your own, then you can start writing on your own and taking that idea and creating something great. It's my opinion that coming up with ideas (the light bulb moment) is the easy part. It's the writing an entire book around it that's hard.
So what are you waiting for?