Thursday, August 28, 2014

Picture Writing Prompts

The creative mind is rarely at rest; jumping from point A to point F so fast you hardly realize it took a couple of side trips along the way, not to mention the other dozen things going on. That can be great for the most part, but sometimes it’s more like an arrhythmia: the heart beating erratically and not pumping blood efficiently. Just like a shock can get the heart beating steadily, the creative person’s brain sometimes needs a little jolt to get it functioning smoothly again.

There are multiple ways this can happen, but one of the most common for writers is the 10-minute writing prompt. The goal is not polished perfection, just getting into the rhythm of putting words on the page.

Most of the prompts I’ve seen are sentences or scenarios that you use to start the story. But one evening I was sorting photos and wondered why pictures can’t be used instead.

A quick Google search of “writing prompt” gave me over 29 million results. Narrowing that to “10 minute writing prompts” reduced it to around 3.4 million. But “picture writing prompts” gave only 259 thousand, and most of those were aimed at elementary school teachers to use with their students.

Why stop at kids? Creative adults can look at a photo and come up with a story, too!

And I would like you to help me show that.

So here’s the deal. . .pick one of the photos below, then start a 10 minute timer and just type whatever story it prompts for you. Use any association you come up with. For example, if one of the pictures were a rose, your story could be about giving a rose to someone, a rose garden, a woman named Rose, a trip to flower shop, finding a pressed flower in a book – whatever.

Then, post your story in the comments (along with a note of which photo you selected). And come back to see what other people come up with and comment on their stories.

I am looking forward to seeing what you post!

Clowning Around
Young Cowboy

Furry Interloper




  1. i chose the Clowning Around image.

    Clowning Around By Scott Jordan

    As I look upon this image many things come to my mind. Superman to the rescue was the first. Then I took a moment to think how did he get so very high? Then I realized he must have been standing on top of the barrel as the bull charged. Leaping into the air with the greatest of ease he vaulted over the bull and lands. Let us see. We can choose to land him upon the bull now facing the wrong way will he ride it or fly off? Or we can choose to have him jump past the bull gracefully landing behind missing the cow pie upon the ground. Or should he land in the cow pie? So many choices to choose from yet one thought still plays in my mind. This person flying so high has a job to protect others from harm. They place themselves in the line of fire to protect people in a sport that is filled with danger.

    The same goes for our military, its young men and women who risk their lives to protect our nation and allies. The police who defend our peace, the fireman who runs into danger while we run from the same danger they now face. Yes the world is full of supermen and superwomen and it’s a privilege to call such people friends.

    Yes I think this man is a superman. And I choose to look up to them and admire them. One day i will face a challenge and then on that day I will choose to be superman for a day.

    1. Rodeo clowns to indeed have a tough job that protects others. I like your comparison of them, as well as military and first responders, to superman. :)

      Thanks for posting, Scott!