Here’s a super quick fix, and pay attention… because this detail is going into a book I’ll be charging for later.
Google “random word generator” and pick a result. Doesn’t really matter. As long as you find an app or site that will give you 1-to-infinite random words, you’re good.
Have the app spit out three words. Or one. Or twelve. I personally prefer 3.
Try to find a connection between the three words. For this reply, my word generator of choice got me:
This is the part where you have to really turn off your inner editor and let the possibilities fly. You can even try making little algorithms, like WORD1=Theme, WORD2=Subject, WORD3=Event, which would make this a Number themed lean where a name happened.
It doesn’t make sense, but it stretches brain cells if you take a moment to noodle on it. How could leaning on a number cause a name to happen? Perhaps over-reliance on a certain set of adaptive code causes an artificial intelligence to spontaneously generate? It could be built on the theme of how common sense isn’t all that common… so somebody tries to create an algorithm that provides baseline common sense for the entire population. Which reeks of communism since people fundamentally approach things differently, even if the outcome appears similar. At what point is arriving at the same answers or the same procedure worth having everyone process things the exact same way?
Or, perhaps a secret agent’s identity, including his memories and consciousness have been programmed to cycle down and erase after a set time. His fate will be worse than death. He will become a vegetable after an internal timer goes off with zero information for the enemy to extract from him. So he better complete his mission before he forgets EVERYTHING, including how to use the bathroom. Perhaps the gradual unravelling of his mind causes vivid bouts of hallucinations. Whatever he’s about to forget, he has a waking dream about it for 15–30 seconds. So things he’s been trying to forget about erupt into his conscious mind and traumatize him right before he forgets about them.
If you have the patience, you can make your own dice roll tables that serve the same function if you don’t want to use an app.
Take a typical 6-sided die from your Yahtzee set (a d6 for us nerd types).
Make a table of random words OR words that are closer to a theme you want to write about. You might think that restricts you to just 6 results:
Roll 1–3 times and noodle on it…
BUT you can actually used one six-sided die for tables with results of 6, 12, 18, and so on. I expand on the formula in this article.
Hope this helps!