Q: How do you generate story ideas, and how soon do you act on them?
A: I nerdishly carry a notebook at all times, and whenever I come across something really interesting in reading or in life (a phrase, a concept, a quote, almost anything) I write it down in my current notebook. I also use the notebook for to-do lists and brainstorming and practically everything I need to refer to or keep in mind, for my professional, personal, and writing lives. I don’t separate the notebooks into sections, so as I’m perusing the pages for a phone number, I’ll come across fragments of ideas that could turn into stories, so I’m constantly feeding those bits back into my mind to incubate. It might be months or even years after I record an idea in my notebook that I write a story about it.