I’m a fan of pop culture and it often finds its way into my stories. Either roll an 8-sided die (find an online die here: Random.org Dice page) for a number or pick your favorite number between 1 and 10. This is how many references to pop culture or news events that you need to make in the next 1667 words. They can be overt references (have a character wave their hand in front of someone’s face and say, “these are not the droids you are looking for”) or subtle (the characters pass a sign that is advertising a movie and comment about it). In one of my stories I have a character receive a care package from her parents and she lists the books that are in the package.
The pop culture or news references could be from our world or the fictional one you’ve created.
Keep in mind that at this stage it doesn’t have to be good, but it does have to be a certain number of words.