Writing Prompt: The Snapshot

There are stories all around us. Everyone we see has a history, every scene our eyes capture has a story behind it. I once took a camera to the beach in Malibu and took random photos of people walking on the pier, sitting on the sand, leaning on the rails of the boardwalk and eating candy floss with their friends. When I developed my photos and studied them, I saw strange little subtleties that told me that everyone in those pictures had some sort of narrative hidden underneath the surface of the picture I took. I captured something interesting, an expression out of place, body language, the nature of relationships.

Try this: Take a few random snaps of strangers and study them. Create a story based on what you see in the images.

I’ll throw one in here to get you started.

the girl on the steps

Writing Prompt: What makes a story?

One of the things that makes us writers is that we’re first readers. There is something about the written word that makes us want to tell a story of our own. It might start with science fiction or history, biographies or western adventures. I’ve heard people say that they like reading all sorts of things, but generally, we tend to gravitate to one genre or another. Personally, although I like science fiction and fantasy books, I seem to go most often for contemporary fiction.

Try this, list your top ten favourite books and have a look about what they have in common. It is theme, character type, scene, location?

Once you’ve listed the common elements, create a short piece that incorporates them all.

Writing Prompt: What makes a story?

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