Maybe a person you once knew, a story you read or an event that changed your life. We all have experiences we can use in our writing. Look for those moments when your world was threatened. Memorable moments when you overcome obstacles. Use your memories creatively. Take stories from your life and the lives of your friends. Graham Greene said when asked about using memories in his stories, that they were 'yours to remember and mine to forget.'
Take a slice of life and ask ‘What if?’ ‘What if' drives everything when it comes to writing stories.
A list of interesting things and subjects and topics.
A list of your obsessions. Obsessions make great stories.
A list of your fears.
A list of those things, people and places you love.
A list of those things, people and places you hate.
A list of the times when something memorable and interesting happened in your life.