Here is a list of 10 brainstorming techniques you can use to jump start student writing.
1. Change the Time. Reimagine your story in a different time period? 10 years ago? 100 years ago? 1,000 years ago? How about in the future? 10 years later? 100 years later? 1,000 years later? What would be the same, what would be different?
2. Change the Place: What if you were re-writing this story in a different place? Different country? Different geographic region? Different universe? How would you handle it?
3. Change an Attribute: How would the story change if the main characters were a different gender? Age? Race? Intellect? Height? Weight? Nationality?
4. Change a Parameter: What can you change?
#1: Genre: make the romance into a detective story.
#2: Length: Why must it be a novel? Can it be a short story? A series of books? Graphic Novel?
#3: Medium: Why must be it in a book format? Can it be an ebook? Mp3? Video?
5. Use a Big Name: What if you were to insert an iconic figure of the past? Albert Einstein? Marie Curie? Mother Theresa? Princess Diana? Julius Cesar? How about the present? Barack Obama? Steve Jobs? Bill Gates? Queen Elizabeth? Steven Spielberg? Etc?
6. Superpowers: What if a character suddenly has superpowers? Like Superman? or Spiderman? or Wonderwoman? or the X-Men? The Hulk? One of the Fantastic Four?
7. Copycat: Are there any commonalities from another story that you can apply to your idea? An updated "Great Expectations?" A reworked Cinderella?
8. Exaggeration. Exaggerate some aspect of your scenario and see how you will deal with it now. Enlarge it: What if it is 10 times its current size? 100 times? Shrink it: What if it is 1/10 its current size? 1/100?
9. Get Random Input. Get a random stimuli and try to see how you can fit it into your situation. Get a random word/image from a dictionary/ webpage/ book/ magazine/ newspaper/ TV/ etc., a random object from your house/ classroom/ neighborhood/ etc. and so on.
10. Just Write: Write an opening paragraph of 101 words. Go wild and write whatever you can think of without restricting yourself. Do not stop until you have at least 101.