At the recommendation of a friend, I read Blake Snyder's Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting That You'll Ever Need. She told me that while she wasn't writing a screenplay, the book was extremely helpful for writing any kind of story.
She's right, it's a fascinating look at storytelling, and it also includes some terrific exercises to foster creativity. This kind of playful thinking is fun. It's fun to mess around with ideas, to have new thoughts, to come up with a great idea. It might even inspire you to write a screenplay or start a novel.
Blatant self-promotion: in The Happiness Project, I talk about my experience of writing a novel in a month, inspired by the book, No Plot? No Problem!, written by Chris Baty, also the founder of National Novel Writing Month. Yes, I wrote a novel as long as The Great Gatsby in thirty days. (Actually, I've written three very bad novels, all safely locked in a desk drawer.)
Sometimes creativity exercises are a bit boring -Read More »from Try These 6 Quick Story Exercises to Spark Your Creativity