Moments of crises force characters to act without thinking, revealing things that might not have been previously obvious. Now imagine that there has been a blazing fire in your protagonist's house. What are the three things that your protagonist would unthinkingly grab as he or she breaks for the door? In 500-1,000 words, put this scene and its aftermath down on paper.
Develop your characters by placing them in a situation where they are faced with a challenge. For conflict inspiration, look no further than these classic moral dilemmas (and, of course, analyze them from the perspective of your character). For an example of a moral dilemma, search "The Trolly Problem."
What does your character want most? Now consider what he needs most. Is what he wants preventing him from gaining what he needs? Or will he have to find what he wants before he can achieve what he needs?
Your protagonist has been asked to showcase a little-known, unusual talent at a community fair's talent contest. Begin on stage and show not only the performer but also the crowd's reaction to this talent unveiling.
Our individual perspectives define what we first notice about a person's physical appearance. How do your characters see those around them? Describe one character's physical appearance from the perspectives of three other characters. What does each beholder's description reveal about who they are?