Saturday, May 16, 2009

May Mania ~ Stretch #16

They say pictures are worth a thousand words. Prove it.

Find a picture in a magazine, a calendar or even on Flickr or Photobucket that captures your interest. If the subject is an old woman, imagine the life she's led. Did a hard life cause her wrinkles or did she get them from a life spent busting a gut? A nice, cookie-cutter home in suburbia. What secret is buried in that tire-swing yard? That unassuming, church-going librarian moonlights as a callgirl as soon as the sun sets. How does she maintain a double life and will she get caught in her lies? Stories are hidden in every good composition. Find one that sparks your imagination and write at least 1000 words about it. That's approximately a scene-length piece. You can do it.

Never say you can't come up with good story ideas. They're all around. Like in the picture above. It's just flowers in the dirt, right? But why are they there anyway, discarded, tied together with string like a present? Why are they crushed, left to wilt? Did a stalker find his lovely with her boyfriend, again, even after his countless threats, and chuck his gift to the ground, determined to return with something much more fitting? Did a nine-year-old tomboy pick flowers for her mother only to get snatched by a stranger on her way home? There's a story in discarded flowers, just lying in the dirt. What is it? You just have to scrutinize things much closer and look for the peculiarities and interesting facets in photos, people, locations, etc, like a comedian looks for humor in the mundane. Look around, find some treasures and just write.

~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.


  1. I'm looking forward to using your writing ideas. I agree totally that there is excellent writing material all around us if we only take the time to look.

    Enjoying the mania,
    Shaddy (See me at my blog--Run, Shaddy, Run

  2. Thanks so much. I'm glad you're finding the exercises helpful. Will get to your blog too. :)

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