Just finished teaching a five day course on 'secrets of story'.
the main 'secret' was that you can make a story out of anything as long as you re-use elements that are there in the beginning.
You have a squirrel, a car horn and a banana. The squirrel tries to stop the old style horn by shoving a banana into it. But the banana blasts out. It hits someone in the back of the neck. The horn is still sounding. The angry person pushes the squirrel. The squirrel pushes back and almost steps on the banana. He avoids it carefully. But then a policeman calls to him about the car. He looks up, turns, and now of course slips on the banana. Or something like that- this story was made simply by thinking of ways to reuse three things. You might think you already do this but I find most story makers are looking forwards, running a little fast, to the next thing. Instead of looking back at their stock of toys, images, people and finding ingenious ways to re-use them. Storymaking is all about parsimony.