You’ve heard the ubiquitous question, “where do your stories/ideas come from?”
Invariably the sweeping answer is, “everywhere.”
But a truer answer is that different people tend to get ideas in idiosyncratic ways, specific to them.
I know writers who get a lot of stories for fiction novels from newspaper accounts of real life stories.
I know writers who get story ideas while walking and looking at houses, imagining the families who live there.
I know writers who get ideas for fiction from reading others’ fiction, and imagining how much more they’d have done with those stories.
About a year ago, I realized many of my longer stories got their themes or protagonists from a friend of mine. One specific friend. We have our regular walk & talk, and I’d be telling her something I had experienced way back, when she’d say, “why don’t you write your next story about it?”
She is not a writer, but an excellent reader. I owe the last five MG novel themes to her.