I’ve had a few people ask where I get my ideas, so here are some of the tools I use. Ordinarily I look for things in everyday life or in the news that seem like they could be the basis for a good story, but that doesn’t always work out.
The Seventh Sanctum – A great site filled with generators that will provide plot prompts, spit out character names, or do things that are just plain weird and silly. I tend to use the name generator the most often.
Captcha – Normally used for proving that one is not a spambot, and to a lesser extent helping with optical character recognition. But it can also be a potent idea generator, spitting out Rorschach-style two-word combos that have been at the heart of many of my more offbeat tales.
The NaNoWriMo Adoption Society – This is where participants in National Novel Writing Month leave ideas, characters, and more that they are unable to flesh out free for the taking to other writers. It tends to be a little heavily weighted toward fads (witness the number of vampire stories post-2005) but still has some dynamite ideas for stories, characters, and more. You have to rely on the Internet Archive for older versions, but the 2007, 2006, and 2005 sites all have stable mirrors with preserved adoptable plots.
Absolute Write – AW is a great site for writers of all stripes, but it also has plenty of great prompts. There’s a subforum dedicated to them, and there are other prompts too: the Western monthly prompt and the monthly blog chain.
DeviantArt Daily Deviations – One of the largest art sites on the ‘net, dA culls some of the most notable artwork, photos, and more into a daily list. Many can be very inspiring! The site is also fully searchable. Warning: especially when logged in, some content may be R-rated and/or NSFW.