BREAKING INTO FICTION (modified from an exercise by Pat Schneider):
Part 1 - Write a short, autobiographical, first-person narrative. This can be any situation, experience, conversation or event that comes to mind. Tell the reader about it as you would a friend. We need to know where this happened, who was there, what they said/did. Write for 7 minutes.
After you have finished, read the narrative through quietly to yourself.
Part 2 - Put your first draft aside. Without looking at this first draft, write the same incident on a fresh piece of paper, but this time add a character who is completely imagined--someone who was not in your original scene. Let this imagined character come into the narrative early in the scene, and let that coming make a difference in how the narrative turns out at the end. But don't decide any of that ahead of time--not even who the imagined character will be--until you get to the moment in the writing when the character appears. He or she may surprise you. Write for 10 minutes.