Today, I'm going to tell you what sparked the idea for my current (currently in revision hell) wip.
It's really the fault of Jasper Fforde, Jane Austen, Harriet Walter and the Garden State Parkway.
Eyre Affair. One of the premise of Fforde's books is that book characters are real. Sure, they live in another universe (books) but that doesn't make them unreal. I love these books and I guess the idea of real and unreal has been percolating in my mind for a while. (PS, his books are damn funny. My wip is short on larfs.)
So, I was driving on the Garden State Parkway to visit my mom in law and I started thinking about Harriet Walter, what an awesome actress she is and how she's often cast in period dramas as hard, unlikable characters. Fanny Dashwood came to mind. Evil character that she is, she gets her garters crossed good and proper at the end of Sense and Sensibility. Edward marries Elenor despite her machinations. She probably feels that she's the victim in the story, that she's been treated badly.
And then it happened. I imagined a regency era Fanny walking over a grassy knoll up to a gate. A teenaged boy was by the gate and he opened it for her. She starts talking to him about how important she really is, how he should respect his betters. He laughs and leads her to the door of his farm house. Behind the farmhouse is a great big recycling factory. He just keeps leading her, gently, into the farmhouse. He shuts the door and says, "They all think they're real!"
That's it, the seed of an idea. As I played with that scene in my head, sometimes it was Willoughby being high and mighty. But the teenaged kid, he thought it was funny because he knew that they were all only characters in books.
Talk about a spark. I don't know how that little daydream turned into a 300 page conflagration, but it did.
How did your wip get it's spark?