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From The Desk of Liz Ensley:
Inspiration can come from anywhere. Hades, it can strike when you're mowing the lawn, and musing about irrelevant things. Hades, I was even looking at my daughter's textbook for history in the second grade and (though I never followed through on it) using it for an outline for an SF story, complete with the territorial expansion and stuff. It could still be done, but I'd rather work on my fantasy series.
Ideas for horror stories can rise from almost anything too, a random incident or person for inspiration.
Fro mthe fellow who crams his family in a closer because he thinks it's the end of the world, that turns into a murder-suidide, and Jim Jones (also murder-suicide, though on a much larger scale), to Charles Manson, to whatever news story inspired THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.
Some of the stories from the Bible are pretty scary too, when you think about the incidents depicted in either the Old or New Testament.
Actually, from romance, to horror, to SF or fantasy, you can glean inspiration and idea fodder from just about any source. Social trends (1984, Make Room! Make Room!, The Time Machine, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) and mroe abstract plots (Flatland, which isactually a combination) and cyberpunk. Axioms (the more things change, the more they stay the same) is one idea behind a time machine story that I have had outlined for years. I think I'm almost ready to start writing it, finally, but the plot had to sit in my brain and drive me insane for over a decade.
If you look around you, at the way you have always done things, and then look at one of your friends or neighbors and notice that they do things differently, sometimes by a major instead of a minor degree. These differences can also lead you to a story.
O' course, y' have t' train y'self up that way. ;-)