…but sometimes so are a thousand words!
Go to the Flickr Explore page and pick the first photo that catches your eye.
Stare at it for five minutes or so and write a story inspired by it.
- Pick the most visually arresting picture, the one that interests you immediately.
- It might not be obvious what the story is going to be.
- This will probably make the story better.
- Don’t waste any time writing backstory. Think hard then start when something is happening or about to.
- Remember that stories are all about character. What does your character want? What is getting in her way?
Remember to post in The Victory Dance when you’ve finished your story today. You’ll get congratulations and inspire everyone else to finish their stories.
(You don’t have to post your story anywhere, just let us know you have written today)
36 thoughts on “[Writing Prompt] A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words”
It was easy for the words to flow as soon as I saw the picture with all the tulips. Ill post my piece when it is fully proofread and edited again and again and again….
I missed out on day one, but then I decided to give day two a go yesterday. I’m really, really determined to break through my writer’s block and write a story a day. I loved yesterday’s prompt, but had no time to finish the story. I’m going to backtrack a bit now and finish it before starting on today’s. 🙂
I find this kind of daily commitment (and the prospect of public humiliation) a very powerful tool in breaking writers’ block. I believe blocks are largely about worrying your writing isn’t good enough. Here, you KNOW you’re not going to write a masterpiece when you’re writing a story a day, but you CAN get a first draft out. Perfection is the enemy of … well, most things.
Stick with us! 🙂
I knew the picture as soon as I saw it (and mistook a rock for a dead body so that gave me my plot.
I’m posting my stories every day on my blog at 5pm (UK) time and Tuesday’s was a 302-word second-person viewpoint entitled ‘The Quarrymen’.
I’m posting the stories to a blog as I create them. Here’s the link to today’s story: http://guptacarlsonshortstories.blogspot.com/2013/05/lost.html
Yesterday’s story is at the site, too.
I should come clean and let you all know that I am “cheating” a little. I am doing some revisions to a non-fiction book manuscript so much of the material so far is coming from there. I also have pledged to read and analyze a short story each day in May. Today I read a piece by Julia Alvarez entitled “Our Papers”, which was initially published in 1988, and is included in an anthology called Crossing into America: The New Literature of Immigration.
Enjoying it all.
I love the idea of reading and analyzing a story a day too. Good for you. (And ‘cheating’ is positively encouraged, as long as you’re not cheating yourself!)
Figured out how to post a link to the story. Here it is for those who are curious:
Oh, that certainly packed a (quiet) punch! Well done.
I tried it for the first time. What a challenge! Never wrote anything so short and still got up to 109 words but I’m happy with the attempt. Are we supposed to pose what we write? Sorry, I’m a first-timer. 🙂
Good for you! (And welcome).
You can post your story here or anywhere or nowhere, depending on your preference. A lot of people like to post their stories because, dang, it feels good (especially when you get feedback). But other people don’t post stories (especially ones they think they might try to get published somewhere, because some publications view any online posting as a ‘first publication’ and won’t accept such stories as ‘new’). So use your judgement and have fun!
Done mine. Not pleased with it, and it’s very short, but it is done at least and that’s the important thing!
Looking forward to tomorrow.
Oh, there are always days like that (sometimes a lot) but as long as we keep writing, we win!
This was a fun prompt 🙂 I may end up expanding on this one, so have kept it password protected for now. The password is “storyaday” if you would like to read it.
Looking forward to tomorrow, once again.
Very nice. I do like this kind of story: seeing existence in a different way. (Even though…no, no spoilers)
Finished mine at last. Couldn’t decide on a title, either “A Life Not Tied to Earth” or “The Flutter of Blue-Black Wings”. Either way, it’s 4,500 words and based on this photo: http://pinterest.com/pin/191614159117875157/
What a great picture. I’m guessing the story might get dark
All righty then. I missed yesterday for too many reasons to outline. and I’ve just slapped together a wordpress site (How to Eat an Elephant) so I can link stories there for here. And I’m cold and hungry so sorry for sounding a little rushed.
Picture was of Northern Lights. (Once I get a few minutes to tinker with the website I’ll put up a pic of them but most of youse know what they look like, right?)
I grew up on the prairies in Alberta, so these were a relatively common event. Mostly in winter but every so often they’d show up on summer nights. A little bit of nostalgia and a little bit of a twist (I hope). Just a first try and I already know how I’d cut it up ’cause it’s way too long.
So pass the bottle and move a little closer to the fire…I remember this kid from school…http://wp.me/p3tYWh-2
this was a good idea; used a pic for tomorrow’s post. With a zombie twist. haa! At Candid Canine
I don’t think I’ve read the Zombie’s-eye view before!
Found a good one, I think! http://starvingactivist.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/story-a-day-may-2-photo-prompt-taking-a-stand/
I thought of using that image, as well. I liked your BMD17.
I liked this and your note about how you came to write it. See? See? It’s what I keep telling people: once you really commit to writing you start seeing ideas and synchronicity everywhere.
Got it. Very lovely pictures of tulips inspired a rather morbid little story. I’m terrible with computers and linking. But the story is called Amsterdam at sarahcain78.com. Will also post at http://gravatar.com/sarahcain78 to see if that works. Oh to be more computer literate.
Accidentally began Story a Day yesterday with a little piece inspired by a friend’s nail polish collection.
As I’ve started already, I thought I might as well give it a go for the rest of the month! I figure it must be serendipity that I decided to write a short story on the 1st May when I should have been knee-deep in novel revisions.
It’ll be a nice change of pace….Already completed today’s with a photo prompt of my own!
Take Care, Cat
“might as well give it a go for the rest of the month!”
Love your style!
…also liked your story.
Finished mine with an hour to spare on the day… and I do love using picture prompts. It’s partly why I spend so much time on Pinterest (the other part being all the pictures of *amazing* food…).
I posted mine here: https://storyaday.org/teaandthunderstorms/2013/05/02/day-two/#more-57 😀
Got it. A morbid little piece inspired by a Facebook plea . . . now I suppose I should get to work!
My yesterday writing happened right before I fell into my bed, but it was a longer than prompt wanted.
But I was really surprised at the prompt, never before using the pictures as inspiration. But as I went through Flicker, that picture just left a piece of conversation in my head, a flash fiction that wanted to be written.
So thank you for you inspiration.
That is a great picture. Now I just need an on-call translator. Very interested to know what you wrote…
Oh, I’m an idiot. That was just the picture. Now I’m off to read your story.
An easy mistake to make.
Excellent suggestion, I write (now 9 years) every morning my French blog, (il y a de la vie après 70 ans) looking at one of my pictures. Of course, only few of them are in explore. And yes, friends pictures or daily frustrations and joys also inspire me.
But blog notes are only at times full blown stories. Now, I will try for longer. It is no more ‘dabble’ is it?
No, go for any length you like.
I looooove picture prompts. Been collecting them all year on my Pinterest board. 🙂
I was delighted to have these prompts in advance in the email: I had already selected my picture as of this morning. I’m doing a bit of the opposite — hyper planning, outlining, character sketches. This one’s going to be a long one, I can tell! 🙂
Oh good! Some of the feedback I got last year (on this kind prompt actually) made me think the preview might help. Glad it does.