I learned this one at a writing conference in Taos, New Mexico. It does a great job at teaching how emotion not only changes a character’s mood and language, but it also distinguish what and how the character see’s their surroundings.
Using the picture above and a character you’re familiar with, take a stroll down the street and describe the surroundings through your character’s eyes. Here’s the catch. Your character has just had something extremely exciting happen to them. Maybe they’re on their way to see a new born baby at the hospital. Maybe their girlfriend/boyfriend just proposed and they are on their way to tell their BFF.
Next, using the same picture, same character, and same stroll, write another description of the same surroundings. This time however, your character’s emotions are at the opposite end of the spectrum. Maybe someone close to them died. Maybe their significant other walked out on them.
Afterward, compare the two descriptions. Did your character see things differently each time? Did your character greet the other pedestrians, or ignore them? Anyway, you get the idea.
Hope you have fun with it.