Re: How does one formulate an idea for a story?
I COMPLETELY agree with Scy. In fact, if she hadn't have posted there yet, I would have.
I hate the whole "cliche! Cliche!" alarm bells that people ring if they see something happen that's occurred in another person's story. I mean, like Scy said, it's what you DO with the idea, not just the idea itself. And even if it is considered a cliche idea, why does it matter you do it too? As long as you interpret it YOUR OWN WAY, then it should be completely different, and all traces of "cliche" ideas/plots are eradicated. Frankly I think calling an idea "cliche" (ESPECIALLY if you're talking about a pokemon species, like eevee or pikachu) is really, really shallow. If you can't see how the same idea can be used in more than one way, you're just plain shallow.
Having said that, and not beating Scy's point (after all, she DID manage to have three sets of brackets happening at once!), this is how I formulate my ideas:
Inspiration: If I'm reading a story or watching a TV show I love, it's likely I'll draw ideas from there. Even just simple ones, such as the inclusion of many main characters as opposed to just one, or an incorporation of a location, etc.
Or maybe I'll come up with something random after reacting to a certain stimulus. OR. In Through the Eyes of a Flareon's case, just come up with a really vague idea, start, and gradually expand on it till you come up with more. I didn't come up with my ending for at LEAST a year after I started writing it. xD Same with a lot of the characters--they just come in randomly (and in my case, I had heaps of guest stars--and a lot of them became important characters) and un-planned...ly. XD It really depends how you work. AND. MOST IMPORTANTLY.
Write about what you want to write about. Not about what anyone else wants you to write about, ESPECIALLY when it comes to writing about pokemon species. A LOT of people (for some unknown reason) hold endless prejudice for commonly incorporated pokemon such as eevee or pikachu, which, in my opinion, is utterly shallow and ridiculous. So, in saying that, write about pokemon YOU want to write about, and that's it.
Everyone who's still stuck here, Pe2k is Dead. It's sad, but it happened. Instead, we moved to...
Pe2k's spiritual successor! :D I'm Suicune's Fire there.