I want to write a short story but I cannot seem to get started. As I read in a book, the first thing I need to do is choose a conflict, setting, and characters. The conflict is expressed as a statement of what the main character wants and what stands in his way. For some reason I cannot think of the conflict. The only things I know about life are getting up, going to work, coming home, etc. I don't seem to know enough to select a plot from my knowledge. What are some ways that I can come up with a story idea. All I need to do is make a character and give him something to do, and something to oppose him. But how do I come up with that idea? My imagination muscles are extremely weak from lack of use. Can anyone help me? Also, in addition to answering the above, can anyone suggest a good book on methods to architect stories, methods that will give me some systematic way of plotting it out? I read somewhere about using "What if" questions, and going back and forth through a chain of them.