It’s an old trick, but a good ’un. Take a classifieds page from any newspaper, and use one of the ‘for sale’, ‘wanted’ or ‘searching for love’ adverts as your starting point.
Better still, take a handful and mix vigorously. That way there’s far less chance of your subjects discovering themselves mired in your fiction.
More often than not this approach will offer up the seeds of plot and characters in one neat newspaper-print package. Then all you’ll need to supply is the story arc.
If this idea prompts you to write something, I’d love to know. Just send an email to Judy(at)socket creative.com. You could end up published on the site!