Skip to content

Writing Prompt #4

May 24, 2010

One of my earliest memories of a writing prompt comes from high school English class. The teacher passed out images from which to draw inspiration. Time has dissolved my recollection of the picture I received, though I have a feeling of “snow” when I think on it. No telling what that’s about.

Nowadays, my “Inspiration” bin includes a folder for inspiring imagery. They include everything from the visually poetic to the decidedly bizarre. For example, one of my favorite newspaper clippings is of a village in Afghanistan. At first glance, it appears to be a group of young boys being boys, playing in a local watering hole. They’re jumping, splashing, grinning, laughing. Then you look closer and you realize the chocolatey soup they’re playing in is a bomb crater that’s been filled with muddy rainwater. And the splintered structures in the background are the remains of their homes.

Below are links to a few images I’ve come across over the years. As always, pick your number – 1 to 5. Start with that image. Write down the first thing that comes to mind. Then shut your mind off and let your fingers run away with the story. Describe what you see – what is this, what’s going on here? If you feel led to explore plot, then describe what led up to this moment and what happens next. If the character/being intrigues you then describe who or what you’re seeing. How did it evolve? What role does it play in society or the world?

Then, if you don’t mind sharing, post your ideas! I would love to read what your freaky-deaky minds come up with!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Image #1

Image #2

Image #3

Image #4

Image #5

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2010 6:54 pm

    #5 http://www.justinwhitney.com/clarion/prompts/vintagecreeper.jpg

    Hattie watched Joan as she carried her cake to the Junior High Hop & Cakewalk. She longed for the day when she could make dioramic cakes and attract boys like she knew Joan would. Hattie could just picture the boys flocking around Joan and her cake, admiring the way Joan had massaged the icing tube so it spread lines of smooth white frosting. The figures on the cake would inspire their imaginations as they acted out the romantic episodes they aspired toward with Joan. Joan, with her hip glasses and happening ‘do. Hattie hoped Rex would decide he wanted the cake instead, and knock her over before she even got out of the driveway, little big band players and dancing animals dodging Welk-esque bubbles of frosting as they tap-danced across the gravel. Hattie almost smiled at the thought, but all she could manage was a bitter grimace.

  2. Mishell Baker permalink*
    May 25, 2010 12:25 pm

    #2

    Fred brooded to himself as he swam slowly away. It seemed so easy for the others. Quicker than thought, the school would flit this way or that as a unit, their smooth scales winking in the light that filtered down through the surface. And every time, Fred ended up smacking into somebody.

    What was he missing? No one could even explain. “If you have to ask, Fred…” Sheri had laughed. Brian had just shrugged and given him an odd look. They were annoyed with him, he knew. They thought he was trying to call attention to himself. In truth he wanted nothing more than to disappear into the school, but he had no idea what to do about it.

    Sometimes he felt certain he’d figured out the secret. He’d manage two turns without hitting anyone, and his heart would soar! But then the third turn would find him tangled up in someone’s tailfin, and he’d realize it had only been luck. These were the most heartbreaking moments of all, because hope was a height even a fish could fall from.

  3. May 25, 2010 10:29 pm

    “Joan, with her hip glasses and happening ‘do.” Yes!! Love it!

    Mishell – yours almost makes me want to run with it and keep going. What’s it called when someone starts a story and other people add on to it?

    • Mishell Baker permalink*
      May 26, 2010 9:50 am

      It’s called WIN! No, actually, I don’t know. But have at it, if you like!

  4. May 28, 2010 1:26 pm

    #3

    I got a story out of this but I spend so much time working on it that I want to finish it up and send it out somewhere. Thanks, Justin.

  5. May 28, 2010 3:31 pm

    Cool!! That’s even better news! If you need a beta reader, I would love to see it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: