Monday, February 28, 2011

Story Prompt :: Writing through the Monday doldrums

No matter what you've heard, not every picture is worth a thousand words.  Just cruise through Flickr if you don't believe me.  Among the many thousands that are worth many thousands of words, there are all too many that simply are not.

Many of my stories were inspired by a photo.  The main character in my next book was inspired by a photo I saw at my wife's grandfather's funeral.  He was in training during WWII and rolled a tank.  The photo was of this young (and by all accounts quite wild) guy standing atop the belly of this upside down tank, grinning like a hunter who'd just killed the biggest bear in the land with a toothbrush.

Some photos beg the imagination to run wild. 

One of the things I do if I get stuck is go looking for a photograph to tell a story about.  Beyond describing the photo, these tales can be the story of someone else finding it in an unexpected place, or a story of the people just outside of frame. Sometimes it's just a setting, but a photo can anchor a thousand daydreams.

Today I invite you to join me in a writing exercise to shake off the Midwinter Monday doldrums.  Take a photo, any photo that fires your imagination, and tell a story about it.  It can be your photo or you can use the one below.  If you want to insert an element of gambling to exercise, >>click here<< and choose one of the random Flikr photos that appears.  Your story has no limits except that it must in some way deal with or spring from the photograph -- it can range from a one-liner to a thousand words or more if the mood strikes you.

I'll post my story here on Wednesday and I encourage you to post yours somewhere along with the photo that inspired it if you can.  See you then!

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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).