One of the greats ways to stimulate the imagination and generate ideas is to combine two separate things - they could be people, objects, situations or almost anything. And see what this combination suggests.
To see this in action, you could pick words from a book, use a pack of cards depicting objects (this can be a wonderful tool if you have or can obtain one), or write down two different and seemingly unrelated words. Then play about with the possibilities.
As an example I have just pulled two cards from a set of Think-Links cards I have, Wheelbarrow and Soap. If you think about these two words a moment an idea or image may occur which you can build on.
For me, the idea suggested was of a very dirty and battered wheelbarrow which a gardener decided to clean (this thought was prompted by the soap.) As he chipped away at the stuck-on soil and grime the gardener finds an old coin (or it could be a wedding ring or something ususual and of value.) And this discovery comes to have dramatic implications on the life of the gardener ....
Already other possibilities are beginning to occur but these two randomly chosen words could lead on to what could be an interesting story.
Combining words in such a fashion is well worth doing if in need of an idea.