Don't you love coming up with a new idea for a story? It can be sparked by anything: the ripples of water swirling from a small, trickling waterfall could bring on the beginnings of a great setting or interesting situation. But what always surprises me is when I'm coming up with a new setting and, BAM! suddenly there is a character, or maybe two or three standing about just. . . becoming. It usually happens without much thought at first, and this character seems to create itself. It's especially interesting when this character gets in your face and tells you, the writer, in no uncertain terms what sort of person they are.
Character: "I like it right here, so don't you dare move me from this spot!"
Writer: "Whoa, take it easy, little lady, I'm your friend here."
Character: "Don't call me that! I hate that!"
Writer: "Okay, but your adversary in this story will probably call you, little lady."
Character: "Swell. Whatever, just bring it on!"
Believe it or not, this sort of thing happens, usually in the middle of the night. So just get your paper and pencil and write it down because, if you're like me, when morning comes and the coffee starts flowing, you won't remember a thing about what you were coming up with the night before.