1. Find Something New.
Have you ever wondered how film was developed? (Really? Film? Sure, not all stories take place today, right? Sometimes I enjoy writing historical books:) What a librarian did all day? Or what happens when Wal Mart gets a new shipment in? How does Wal Mart find new clients? What process does the police department take when booking a new criminal? What goes in to making a movie? Casting a movie? Writing a script? Learning new things and the way things work is a great way to discover new situations for your characters to work through.
2. Ask Weird Questions
3. Do Something Different
Do you always grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks? Try Dunkin Donuts today. Always shop at K Mart? Shop at Target today. Do you always take the stairs? You know, for the extra exercise. Take the elevator today. When you turn your normal into not normal, you are creating a different world and will see things you normally wouldn't.
Ideas can come from the strangest places at the oddest times. Has an unusual event given you a great idea for your great character?