I am doing world building for A Shadow of Frost and Ice now. Today I began to think about where I get the ideas. It is to 99 % my subconscious. The notes I made today were a mix of things I learned at university and things I have read in the news. And then the were the portion were I made things up. Like how magic affects concrete and asphalt, not to mention why it doesn’t affect wood and stone.
This might sound odd, but unless I write historical fantasy, I do very little research when I write the notes. Most of my notes are straight from my brain. I double-check if I am uncertain, of course, but I rarely have a pile of non fiction books next to my laptop. Which is probably a good thing, since I would get nothing done then.
No, my research often happens a long time before I get the idea. At the time I am often unaware that it is research, to be frank. In the case of this idea part of it comes from the submarine hunt during 2014. Not that I have a submarine in my book, it is an urban fantasy novel after all.
Everything I do feed the subconscious and it is likely to end up in a book. Sooner or later.