This process is different for every storyteller. Your mileage may vary.
The first step is to figure out how your imagination works. Mine dumps a story on me like a ton of dirty, mismatched socks, which I then must clean up and sort into pairs by style, color, and size.
The seed of the story starts in my own curiosity.
Take ‘A Vintage Heart in Hollywood,’ for example. Like the heroine, I’m a professionally trained nanny. That part was easy. A person doesn’t get through my alma mater, The English Nanny & Governess School, without a strong code of ethics and tremendous pride in keeping them.
So, naturally, the nannies in my stories are always freakin’ awesome.
The second element which ended up as the Keepers of the Sacred Code was seeded in my fascination with movie-making documentaries. For decades now, I’ve been fascinated by the ‘extras’ on DVDs and Blu-Rays and Digital copies. Oh, yeah, I thought the make-up and special effects were cool, but it wasn’t just that. I would watch documentaries over and over. I loved and watched some of them more than the actual movies. (((cough))) Star Wars Attack of the Clones (((cough)))
And I had no idea why.
Then, ‘A Vintage Heart in Hollywood’ dumped on me while I was trying to write a story about time-traveling elves, of all things.
And it dawned on me.
The reason I was fascinated by the movie-making documentaries was because of the community of brilliantly imaginative people created by the process of making a movie. Wow. Blew my mind. That’s how the concept of Keepers of the Sacred Code was born. Of course, the characters say they made the whole thing up over poker and tequila.
Don’t listen to them, they’re nuts.
That’s why I say, if you find yourself terribly curious about something, just go with it. You never know what will come of it.