Everything from physical description to back story to personality traits. Don't worry if some narrative gets mixed up in it. You can take it from the sketch to a scene later.
2. Work from a writing prompt
Writing prompts have often taken me right to a new story and sometimes a book. You can find a long list of writing prompts at the everyday writing coach
3. Pick a scene from your outline.
If you do not have an outline already and are unsure how to get one going, sign up with your email address for the Quick Guide to Take Your Book from Concept to Finished Product on the sidebar. You can also email your questions or a request for the guide to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Write up a piece of flash fiction.
As one writer friend says, It is an easy way to feel accomplishment. And it's real. This story can be submitted at its current length to a writing contest or worked into something longer later.
5. Capture setting
Whether it is the scene you find yourself sitting in, or one in your memory or imagination; capture every nuance (run through the senses - taste, touch, smell, feel, and sight -- a time or two) You will be glad you did when your character needs somewhere new to go.
6. Introduce a secondary character
Thinking exclusively about a secondary character gives him time to develop. Why is he interacting with your main character? What is his back story? What is the conflict that will be introduced between the two?
7. Play with words
Making random lists of nouns and verbs (10 each) and then pairing them up into sentences rearranges your writing in a new and fresh way. See if you can work any into a novel scene or short story.
8. Plan a list of articles or blog posts
This gets your creativity flowing at max in a short amount of time. Even if you don't use all of them, it's a worthy exercise. Do not be surprised if a story scene or something else helpful comes to you while your brain is storming. Write it down.
9. Write a short poem.
You can also make it one of your characters' and work it into your story. If you are not sure to write about, capture what's on your desk or out your window or focus on the last strong feeling you entertained.
10. Write your author bio.
Post it somewhere you see it frequently. You will be glad you have it when the time comes for you to submit it along with your article, book proposal, contest entry, or guest blog post. It also serves you like a vision board -- motivating you before you feel like the author you are.