The story ideas I'm poking around with are threatening to develop into a full-fledged novel. Given that I've never finished a novel, this is an intimidating prospect. The short stories I've been trying recently haven't been going anywhere either, though. I'm considering doing something peculiar like buying Dramatica Pro, a software package designed around a particular theory of story construction. It's the sort of thing many authors might hate (rigid structure! ack!), and I might indeed hate it, too--but it's also something that can challenge how you think about stories and the mechanics of telling them. I'm playing around with the demo, and the theory book it's based on is available for download at the website.