I've wanted to write a novel for many years but never got started, mainly because I didn't know where to start. I thought I needed a plot. Your book, On Writing, helped me realize that I didn't really need a plot. I first tried your Dick and Jane exercise a few years ago, and I thought it turned out fairly well. Then about six months ago I got motivated and started with one character, which I placed in an unfamiliar situation, and started writing about what she saw, felt, heard, etc., and let the story grow from that. Before I knew it, the story included about 35 characters and roughly 70,000 words. It was like reading a book I couldn't put down, as bizarre as that seems; I couldn't wait to see what the characters were going to do next! I really didn't know how it was going to end until the last few chapters. It was a lot of fun!
Thank you so much for the advice!