Writer's Digest has a section in their website for fictional story starters called Writing Prompts. These prompts can be entertaining standing alone. Of course the idea is to build a story around the thought.
The prompt I gave a whirl with a while back seemed intriguing:
Write the last line to an unwritten novel that's so intriguing that others won't help by want to read the book. Please limit your response to 500 words or less.
It posed the challenge of creating a masterpiece from a blinking cursor with the imaginative freedom of the wind across the Earth. Write the end first. I asked myself how much mystery could I put into a final line or paragraph of a novel that would make others want to read the book. What would make me want to read it? What types of people read the most? What types of novels do those people like to read? These questions generated what seemed to be basic ideas that led to some generic ideas then to really bad ideas but eventually back to a decent idea.
Then you think to yourself, Self - I got it. You put it on notepad and think, it looks pretty good. Then you make a few changes and really start thinking hey this is pretty good. You even go so far as to put it in your blog que as a draft post. You add a schedule date a few weeks out in order to let it simmer a few weeks. The plan is after it simmers for a week or so to read it like it is on somebody else's blog. Does it have the quality to be a "Post" a "rockbottom post".
Then you check your blog one morning from work and realize this draft posted. Words are misspelled. Sentences are not really sentences. It is bad, it is real bad. It is like rockbottom bad.
So for anybody that saw the post earlier today (approximately over the previous 14 hours of today) that post was a figment of your imagination. You are relaxed you are seeing dark colors. You have recently seen river rocks that made you think of a warm afternoon beside a creek. Take a deep breath. When I say "Visit http://kippsversion.blogspot.com" you will wake up from your trance feeling fresh and rested. Before leaving this blog you will want to visit another post such as the very first post - Writing Blind or Peer Pressure.