An acquaintance who attended The Book Academy last week told me that Brandon Sanderson talked about two different types of writers—the single drafter (writes from an outline; aka “left-brain” writer) and the multi-drafter, or discovery writer (sets the characters loose; aka “right-brain” writer). The multi-drafter apparently loves these writing prompts, while the single drafter does not.
So this is for the Multi-Drafters. (Single Drafters, just go work on your book.)
Spend a little time centering, turning from busyness back toward your own inner reflections. Then call up from your memory a snapshot or photograph of someone important to you. … Usually it is a good idea to take the first one that comes to mind. … If you feel some resistance, that may be an indication that there is a ‘knot’ to be unraveled. …
When you have the picture, begin writing with these words: “In this one, you are…” (You are writing to the person in the photograph.)
(Exercise from Writing Alone and with Others by Pat Schneider, p. 36)
If you post your story on your blog, feel free to leave a link in the comments section.
P.S. If you’re uncomfortable writing about someone you know and posting it on the web, then go for fiction. Do a Google image search, find a photograph that speaks to you, and go for it.