What’s in a Picture?

Ok so let’s get it out of the way: yes I know it’s been over six months since my last blog, but I have been, ahem, busy.  I’ve started a new job at a local secondary school and whoop, whoop, been accepted onto the foundation stage for the Golden Egg Academy! So, it’s been a very exciting time and I’m pleased to say that I’m making good progress on my third novel.

In order to share my love for writing and encourage younger authors, I have started conducting Creative Writing Workshops one lunchtime a week at the school I work.  So, I thought I’d share one of the exercises which we used this week, with great success.

The students were given a choice of pictures; settings were included from historic times, sci-fi, different countries, supernatural and modern situations.  The students were then asked a series of questions and told to make notes only at this stage, on each question.  The questions included:a80c768924134cab59ee3f954c958b12--haunted-places-haunted-houses

  • what is the first thing you see?
  • what is the time of day?
  • what are the colours in the picture and their effect?
  • what can you hear? (using a simile)
  • what is happening?
  • bring a character into the piece
  • what do they feel?
  • insert some dialogue
  • think of a detail you had not noticed
  • what is happening to the right of the picture?

And so on.  Students were then asked to spend about fifteen minutes writing up a short story or start to a story using this as a basis.  The results were very interesting and some were very keen to share their work, which is always pleasing to hear.  We heard stories raging from pagan rituals to spooky horror. What a great way to spend a lunchtime!

This format would also work for poetry.  So if you’re ever stuck for ideas, find a picture and ask yourself these and other questions and see what you come up with.  It would be great to hear how you get on, so let me know if this proves to be a successful story making idea.


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