How did I first start writing Blue Star?
Well. It was years and years of accumulating ideas. The title and basic idea actually cropped up in a roleplay I tried making in...08? Sometime around then, I think. Anyway, that was a flop, but it was an interesting idea, so I hung onto it. ALWAYS hang onto your ideas. You never know when you might be able to draw them forth from the grave and give them new life.
I didn't work at the idea, though. I had other stories to write. So I let it sit and fester and ferment. In the meantime, I accumulated other ideas.
I read an article in WIRED magazine about the Russian Doomsday Device "Dead Hand" and thought, wow, scary and cool. Maybe I can use something like that. Tossed the idea in the stewpot and moved on.
There were images--a man standing in front of a strange creature; a train traveling through a desolate snowscape; a pair of people on a bus, one of whom was a strange messenger feared by the public. There was snow, lots of snow, and strange things that people didn't understand. Necromancy, and legal uses for it. And drugs. They all got tossed into the stewpot and left to simmer.
Finally, when I'd finished telling my other two stories, I decided to give this one a whack. My mind hadn't been in the best state for a while, and I felt like writing something...unpleasant. Something dark and evil. Something with death and drugs. Lots of drugs. Weird stuff. (I can't write normal things. It's a side effect of being me.)
So I jammed my arm into the stewpot, right up to the elbow, and stirred things around a bit. They'd fermented long enough at this point that when I withdrew my arm--well, you know that gooey corn syrup-flour-whatever mix? It's soft and sticky but peels off of you? Yeah. It was kinda like that. I started pulling at stuff and poking and things just sort of came together. I grabbed the beginning of something I'd just sort of plunked out during a rewards assembly for my sister (hey, it was boring, don't look at me like that) and got started.
What about you? Do you let ideas sit?