Each writer's inspiration is unique. It could be song you heard on the radio. It could be a painting of a road winding off into the horizon. It could be an old photograph found in the back of an antique store.
Mine is usually a character.
Many times it's the victim. Who is this person and what is it about them that gets them killed? Is it where they live? What they know? What they've seen? Are they good or bad? All these questions are answered and in the answers lie the rest of my characters.
Sometimes it's a situation - a high school graduation, a wedding or a reunion. I like to write about events, simply because everyone can identify with them and it gives another layer of reality to the plot. I figure out who's attending and then the identity of the hapless victim usually becomes clear.
And another body hits the floor.
My characters give me my plot far more often than my plot gives me my characters. My victim colors everything - who they know, how they live, what they dream about. Are they loved? Hated? Feared? (which is always fascinating)
But after the fun of the inspiration, I have to actually write. That's work.
I have to remind myself about pacing, about description, about dropping clues in different ways. I worry about what every writer worries about. I mostly worry about the quality of the writing.
Where do your inspirations leap from?