Monday, June 4, 2012

Writing from Pictures

Sometimes I find myself in situations where I am at a loss for inspiration. Luckily, there are tons of writing prompts out there to peruse through. I am finding the photo prompts to be incredibly interesting. Using pictures in order to create a story can open up so many ideas. I have noticed that a few of my blog friends have also used this exercise, and some have shared their stories. I have read suggestions about using this type of prompt ranging from flipping a magazine open to a random page, picking a picture, and writing about it to getting a random picture from a friend.

I am currently reading a book by Ransom Riggs called Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children in which he has taken collections of old photographs and created an entire story using them. The pictures are including within the story and incorporated in a unique way. The novel almost makes me want to go out and start hunting down old black and white pictures! The story is not what you expect it to be (in a good way), but Riggs has taken the pictures and used them in a way that makes the story seem real.

Writing from pictures gave me another idea as well. I love to "people watch." I find the adversity in the human race to be fascinating. I cannot always capture unique moments in photos, but I can capture them in my mind. If I can write from a picture, I can write from a memory. I suppose you could try to sneak pictures of people and situations, but getting caught could have soem adverse effects I'm sure. I try to carry a small notebook around with me to record my observations. I also take notes on my phone.

I think some really interesting stories can come from looking at pictures and real life observances. I am going to start seeing what kind of pictures and situations from which I can gain inspiration. I would also like to see what would happen if several people take the exact same picture and write a short story about it. I bet if you took five people, you would get five uniquely fun stories.

Have you ever used pictures as inspiration? What kind of stories have you been able to write from them?

Happy writing!

Copyright (c) Emily D. Wood
Photo Credit: Photl


  1. This was one of the assignments in my last Creative Writing class. I had a blast with it. I wrote about a couple that I had seen in a restaurant. It was fun to fill in the blanks of their life. Hope you're having a great summer! :)

    1. I love to "people watch" anyway. I love the thought of making up a story to go along with my observations. I hope you are having a great summer as well!