Writing is as much a science as it is an art. And when the muse fails you, you turn to the periodic table of storytelling.
It’s beautiful. Leo Tolstoy said there are only two kinds of stories – a man goes on a journey, or a stranger comes into town. This breaks it down a little further, and each element takes you to a detailed wiki on the trope used. Wall-E, for example, is a combination of a Woobie (character you feel sorry for), Action Girl (self-explanatory), and recycled in space (meaning the story can take place anywhere, but wouldn’t it be cooler if it was in space!).