(This exercise is taken from 'Free-Range Writing', by Jenny Alexander.)
Someone is rocked by a difficult emotion. What is it? For example, jealousy, anger, boredom, fear.
Why are they feeling this way? What caused it?
Take a moment to imagine you are feeling this emotion. Notice the physical effects - where do you feel it in your body?
Stories are always about a protagonist who wants something. Your protagonist wants to stop feeling this way. what needs to happen in order for them to feel better? How can they make that happen?
Write the story of how they try to change their situation, ending in either success or failure. What do they learn? How does the journey change them?
Fiction tip: when you are writing stories, as well as the action of the plot, think about the psychological journey of the protagonist. How are they changed by what has happened?
Write about a time when you've felt a difficult emotion. What was the context? How did you feel? What happened? How was the situation resolved?
If this feels a bit gloomy or negative, you could write about a time when you/your character felt happy, elated, hugely relieved. But it might be harder to make it into a story! SP)