The process of creating a new story is multi-layered. I would love to watch how other writers do it--not to compare--just to see what works for them. And often, the same process doesn't work twice in a row. Because, what is creativity if not subjective and fluid? That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
I have various ideas in various stages--well, truth be told, I have a HUGE notebook titled "story ideas" and it's jammed with scribbled notes, newspaper clippings, lists and hand-written notebook paper pages, with an occasional picture or a few paragraphs I whipped out on my PC. Also notes from talks shows and profile programs like Primetime.
This is my second week on an idea for a contemporary that's coming together. I started out with the main female character's backstory and a grid on her goals, motivation, etc. and only a vague idea of the love interest. I had his name last week, but not hers. Today I chose her name and an iffy working title. I also found a picture of her. It's a community story, so there are several characters to create and flesh out. I'm still not sure where this story takes place. I was thinking Kansas and I'm not sure why. I have the atlas open right here and it looks like a good place. I've been there, so that helps.
This female character, her name is Megan, has so many emotional issues that none of the other characters can be weighted to the same degree. His name is Sean Finley. He's a county DA moonlighting as a carpenter. How much fun is that?
I heard an author say that she dreams the ideas for her books. That would sure cut down on the angst on my part. My dreams don't lend themselves to plots, much as I wish they did.
People invariably ask authors where they get their ideas. You know the truth for me is still, "I really don't know."