The process: Think about the scenario-then write up to 500 words (that’s about two pages on an old typewriter, double spaced). Then set it aside for at least a day. After that read your “story” and edit it. Make the revisions then set it aside for another day. On the third day read it like you were reading it for the first time and make notes about what you like and don’t like in what you wrote. Feel free to share what you discovered about your writing.
Scenario Number One:
It’s noon on a Friday. You are stuck in traffic on a four lane city street. There is road construction ahead, causing everyone to have to wait as much as ten minutes to move ahead on the two open lanes. There is a woman in the car next to you talking on her cell phone in a very animated way. Behind you a man is tapping his fingers on his steering wheel. In the car ahead you can see a woman with two or three children bouncing around in a mini-van.
Good luck with this. (This actually happened to me today.)
Scenario Number two:
You are in the mountains for a hike on a beautiful summer day. All is going well. You expect the hike to take about two hours. You’ve got a little day pack with you that you’ve brought a bottle of water and a small lunch. After you’ve eaten you look at your watch and realize it has been over two hours since you left your car. You start back and come to an unfamiliar fork in the trail.
Scenario Number Three: Use the photo as an idea generator and write your 500 words.