Let me introduce you to an idea generator. All you need is a die. Roll twice for who, and once for every other category. You can then write a short piece based on your result.
So, for example, I roll 2, 6, 2, 5, and 4. I could then try to write a story about how an asylum seeker bumped into a millionaire when they were both admitted to hospital at the same time, which resulted in an important decision, that will affect both of their futures. Try to give your story a little depth. Name your characters. Here’s an unedited excerpt from my attempt:
As I do every morning, I started my day in prayer. I thanked God for allowing me to escape the war, I asked for the safety of my parents and friends still in Syria. I forgave those who want to hurt me, and I blessed those who have helped me. Today. Today would be the day that would change everything. I told myself this as I prayed, as I told myself every morning.
I started coughing. I have a constant sore throat, but I usually ignore it. Today, I could no longer ignore it, because I coughed up blood. One of the other women called for help as I collapsed (whether from weakness or fear, I don’t know), and the next thing I knew, I was in the emergency department of a local hospital, despite my protests. It was there that I met Ray.
The opportunities are endless from this. I might never again look at this quick response to the given prompts, but it served a valuable purpose in warming me up for my writing. Or, I could find myself intrigued by the ideas that were generated, and decide to try to develop the story. I’d then spend some time on background research, for example into the Syrian war, treatment of refugees, an illness that might be the possible cause for our main character’s admittance into hospital. The opportunities are endless; the only limit, my imagination.
Why don’t you give the idea generator a go? I made mine very quickly using the first things that came into my head, which maybe were influenced by the news, things I care about, something I’d read, and so on. Use mine, create your own table, or ask a friend to make one for you. You could even play it as a game with your friends or children. I’d love to hear what you’ve created!