I find this one works best if you respond to the following list on a scrap piece of notebook paper. It is playful, so don’t think your responses have to be too serious. Also, it’s best to jot down the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t overthink! Here goes:
Pick an animal (something a bit more exotic than a dog or cat)
Pick a color
Pick a phobia
Pick a profession other than your own
Pick a fruit
Pick an usual facial feature
Pick an emotion
write a short piece of fiction featuring the animal, the color, the profession, the fruit, the facial feature, and the emotion you came up with. Your main character must have the unusual facial feature and the profession you’ve chosen. He/She/They live in a town by the name of the emotion you picked. It’s up to you how all of your other details feature into the story.
It’s amazing how an experiment such as this one can teach us the value of improvisation! Sometimes when we begin a story, we have already spent so much time overthinking it that all freshness is lost. A game such as this one reminds us that we can let our writing tell us what it needs!