I love the idea of having a pile of interesting rocks or other objects to represent characters. It makes me want to take a trip to the seaside tomorrow and go and collect some pebbles/shells etc. I do have three cactus in sunglasses but they came with pre-made characteristics!!!!Walk on the beach, garden, or go for a hike in the mountains if I need big inspiration. Little inspiration comes from the pile of interesting rocks that sit on my desk--each one has stories to tell. Some end up representing characters with related characteristics (the perfectly smooth rock with a long thin crack across its surface; the flat rock with one side dull, the other sparkling with pyrite; the rock that seems to glow from within, etc). If I need creativity (which is similar to inspiration), I talk a plot through with my husband. He usually comes up with some completely outlandish "Oh! You should do this ..." which I laugh off, but that completely crazy idea will often inspire a related, but more reasonable idea, to which he can point and say "that was my idea, but you wrote it all wrong."
These are great. I think I'm going to need to create another infographic. I try not to have ideas anywhere where I can't immediately write them down but inspiration generally just pops up when it wants to. Being out on long walks is another good one for this.Yes, that reminds me that driving is a good idea time for me. I'm always asking the kids to write things down for me in the car so I don't forget them.