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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How To Do A Picture Prompt Writing Exercise

Walk In The Gardens

We haven't had a picture prompt writing exercise for quite some time. It's a stormy morning in Manhattan, Kansas, where I live, so this picture of a lovely day appealed to me. We do need the rain so I'm not complaining. It's just that I so much prefer a day like the one above.

When you do a picture prompt, don't rush into the writing part. Take some time to study the picture before you begin writing. Look at shapes, color, inanimate objects, the people or animals, clues to the season it might be. Immerse yourself into the picture enough that you can hear what is going on, maybe you can smell something, or feel a light breeze or a sharp wind.

If there are people in the picture, as there are here, ask yourself what they are doing. Where are they going? Are they in a hurry or on a leisurely walk? Are they happy? Or are they vexed? Is someone following the woman holding a bag? Is she going to meet someone? Has she just come from seeing her doctor?

Play the What if...? game with the picture. Ask yourself What if the woman falls down? What if the man in front of her turns and points a gun at her with the intention of robbing her? What if a huge bird swoops down and attacks her? You can ask the What if...? question for a long time. But don't let it get away from your original intent which is to use the picture to inspire you to write.

Now, you're ready to start writing. So, what's it going to be? A few descriptive paragraphs that set a scene? Or will it be the start of a fiction piece? Will it be a horror story, romance, or murder mystery? It's all up to you. You're in the driver's seat. Take us wherever you want to go.


  1. Great advice. Thanks for posting the link to your blog on KAC's Facebook page. As a fairly new blogger it's inspiring to see how much you have posted over the years--I barely squeaked out 60-some entries my first year. It's hard work!

    1. Yes Paula, it IS hard work but also a labor of love. I truly enjoy writing my blog posts and hope it helps other writers in some small way.