Take this advice with a truckload of salt - obviously not everything works for everyone and I was (and still am) in rough shape when I used it. Basically when you get to that infamous brick wall through which even the most focused of efforts are implemented to no avail, stop trying to play it - ahem - "by the book". I'd reached a point in my story where I couldn't think of a realistic means of progressing the plot. I tried backtracking to see if there was somewhere I could take a different route but the past was set in stone, I tried pulling a later development forward but it amounted to a deus ex machina. Nothing was working. So instead of trying to use what I had planned to solve the problem, I got a blank piece of paper and wrote down every improbable and stupid solution I could think of. This served the dual purpose of providing some very promising prompts for later projects as well as finally giving me the idea I needed: Specifically, the three individually ridiculous ideas which - when used in conjunction - made a surprising amount of sense. Now maybe I wasn't trying hard enough earlier or maybe I just lucked out, because this kind of spray-and-pray activity has no business as well as it did. But it did work out and with the number of "help, I'm stuck" threads I've seen posted, people may as well give this a shot.