In most cases, I get inspired to write by seeing real things in the real world. For example, I have a soon-to-be published book called "Connecting Flight." It's about two strangers who die in a plane crash, become spirits that are supposed to go to the "afterlife," but instead decide to stay on earth among the living. It is the familiar idea of ghosts with unfinished business. Once they accomplish their unfinished business, then it will be the right time for them to go to the next level of life.
The idea came to me when I saw a tragic story about a plane crash that killed a male and female coach of a basketball team. I could not help but wonder what their last few seconds were like as they sat together. I wondered, "Did they hold hands? Did they pray? What did they do?"
I then thought about two strangers being in that same situation, and I thought about the power in their words if they were saying, "I'm not ready to die." What would happen if they died, but their spirits stayed on earth? What would they do? Where would they go? If they weren't ready on that day, when would they be ready?
Real events usually cause me to think of my stories, but of course a little twisting is necessary.