Remove one abstract from the world, be it long- or short-term memory, pain, or the ability to stay in one place. Imagine a different kind of society. The differences are interesting, but how people perceive or react to them, even more so. https://sarahleastories.com/2017/11/16/writers-digest-november-poem-a-day-2017-challenge-15-theme-stranger-blank/
Take a minor character from a novel you’ve written and create a new story. If someone likes it, they might be inspired to do a little family tree research and locate its roots.
There is more to every story you write. From one novel, I’ve written a prequel, a novella, a volume of poetry, and a preface to serve as a poetry prompt. https://sarahleastories.com/2017/11/24/writers-digest-november-poem-a-day-2017-challenge-23-theme-preface/
Alternate histories are popular. What if the South had won the Civil War, what if Jesus had never been born, what if 9/11 had been thwarted? Be provocative. Imagine a world other than the one we live in.
Popular idioms can be exceptional story starters, as the origins aren’t always known. https://sarahleastories.com/2015/06/04/the-parable-of-the-owl-&-the-wheel/
Objects can be interesting—a source of mystery—but they are even more interesting if there is a story behind them. It’s like seeing a stranger and wondering about their story. We are more than what people see or even think they see.
things she carried?
Pet lovers love stories that don’t necessarily personify animals, but rather showcase how they’ve had a positive impact on their life—just for being there. https://sarahleastories.com/2017/11/08/writers-digest-november-poem-a-day-2017-challenge-8-theme-thing/