The exercise-to enrich our characters to flesh out their desires and express those desires in ordinary situations. "What does your character want?"
1. Decide on a character and the character's main characteristics-age, gender, appearance, etc. If you want, give the character a challenge-e.g. a scar, an illness, a handicapping condition, a trauma, etc.
2. Decide on a setting-time and place
3. What does the character desire? What else does the character desire? What is the character's deepest, most primal, motivating desire?
I ask "what does the character desire" repeatedly because often the first answer is not the best answer. E.g. the first answer might be that the character wants an ice cream cone, but the final answer might be that the character wants to be valued, or fix things that are wrong in the world, or escape a feeling of entrapment, etc.
Now write the scene!
20 min clock for a rough draft: [In 3 min. I thought of two paths. 1- About a live Pet Rock, and 2- about my favorite pet cat. I have so many stories about her and a tribute is long overdue. But... back to Rocky!]
A day in the life of Rocky
"Why is it always so dark in here? Well, at least it's warm, so I shouldn't complain. My ears itch! Oh, wait, I don't have ears. I wish I could see outside! This grass itches my butt! Oh, wait, I don't have a butt!? Do I wish I had a butt? Nah. My pet human doesn't take me out to play like he used to and I get sooooo bored. I don't even have a watch so I don't know. . . oh wait, I don't have a wrist either?! Tsk. I wonder what it would be like to have a wrist, and ears. It must be HOURS since he took me out for some sun. Borrrrrrring! Well, at least. . . Oops, there goes my eye again. Now I'm half blind until HE notices and glues it back on."
'Oh, look what I found! I forgot I had a pet rock. What was his name. . . ? Rocky! Of course it is. His cardboard house is in good shape after sitting in the closet for twenty-two years. Let's see how he held up."
"Whoa! Earthquake! Oh, what am I worried about? I'm strong, and tough; I'm a ROCK! Whoa. There goes an ear, but HE's taking me out. Yea! I'm gonna tell him. . . oh wait. I don't have a mouth. Even when I had it, HE wouldn't listen to me. Maybe he couldn't hear me? Ohhh, man I'm gonna tell him. . . SUN, oh glorious sun. Ahh, the warmth beating on my quartz, warming my feldspar and mica - whatever they are!
"Hey, YOU, yea you! Where have you been? You know I get bored. . . Whoaaa throwing me up like that, it's making me dizzy and I may barf on you. . . if only I had a mouth! CAN YOU HEAR ME? Yes, there it is, that's my mouth. Glue it on and let's talk."
"Liz, look how funny his eyes are when I shake him. They make me think he's dizzy. Oh Rocky, if only. . . Oh! There's his ear. How funny that putting him on the warm grass makes him look like he's smiling. Almost, enjoying his outing. He was a very big deal twenty or so years ago. Here catch!"
"What the HELL are you doing? Don't toss me around like that. You always tease me. How would YOU like to be in here while I toss YOU around? Yeah, now THAT would be fun! Liz, tell him to . . . NO, NO DON'T TOSS ME BACK. . . Oh barf! That's it. Now that I can see one bright one, I'm gonna wish upon a star... You and I are going to switch places, right . . . hey! It's dark again! Damn it. Now I have to wait a few more boring hours before I can complete my wish and. . . damn! Still no wrist, or watch! I'M, SCREAMING! CAN YOU HEAR ME? LET. . . ME. . . OUT!"