And this is where I go nuts with describing in great detail one aspect of the whatever the series is about. Some of these maybe so long that they will be split into multiple posts. The first post is all about finding your inspiration.
Finding an inspiration for your story is tough, but it is probably the most important part of any work you write. Probably the best advice for getting an idea is also the simplest: Write what you love to read, or play, or watch, or listen to. The reason for this should be obvious, as, if you already love, say, science fiction, it’s a lot easier to actually write a science fiction story than it is to write a western (though it might also be fun to blend two distinct genres you like together, and nothing says you can’t).
Of course, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t plagiarize other people’s work, so, obviously you should take the time to come up with your own idea. This can also be a challenge, however, as story ideas aren’t always readily available. One thing you can do is take tropes (more on tropes in another series) from various media you enjoy and put your own personal twist on them, while tying them into a larger narrative.
For an example of what I’m talking about, let’s take a couple of good examples from works I enjoy: Take the Macguyveresque badass that is Michael Westen from Burn Notice, transplant him to a fantasy setting, where gods get their power through prayer (Okami) and are divided into a non-interfering group and one that loves to mess with people (The Elder Scrolls), and give him a merry band of screwed up friends that will stand by him through thick and thin (Dragon Age II, Burn Notice), and you already have your setting and your protagonist(s). Now you just need a story.
Tomorrow: Deciding on your plot, the basic form.
Also, if you couldn’t get in yesterday, I, er, broke the theme, so now we have a new theme