Writing Prompt: How Many Words Are These Pictures Worth? (Part IV)

As I have mentioned before (herehere, and here), I always love hearing what sorts of delicious stories writers can come up with to go along with a photo. The possibilities are endless! What new worlds and characters will you unlock today?

Take a look at the pictures below. See any stories there? What if you put two or more of the photos together? Are these pictures worth 1,000 words, or maybe a whole novel's worth? It's up to you! Can't wait to see what you awesome folks come up with!

surfers

aurora

spying

headphones

football field

spying

Did you get any story ideas? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

About the author - Emily S.

Swoon editor, IT girl, customer service representative, Small Council member, the-one-who-makes-the-coffee-but-mostly-just-on-Monday-and-sometimes-Thursday, etc.

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12 comments on "Writing Prompt: How Many Words Are These Pictures Worth? (Part IV)"

ShawMcKnight on May 18, 2017, 6:59 p.m. said:

ShawMcKnight


I like the football field picture. I imagine a girl who is tired. Of her life, and who she is, tired of everything that's weighing her down. So regardless of what anybody might think, she just lays down ready to let life pass her by. But instead she decides to change things. Decides to change everything.

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Sara.Blevins on March 17, 2017, 7:05 a.m. said:

Sara.Blevins


I'm going to give the last photo a shot. I've been trying to practice writing cliche scenes in new and innovative ways--so hopefully that will give this little blurb some context :)

Photo 6

You know what the greatest tragedy of life is? That you can't ...un-know anything. One wintry walk through the woods too late, one glance to my right too soon and suddenly it's there, filling up your vision. Him. Her. Eyelashes brushed with falling snow, shy smiles, his familiar toothy grin--her new one that I wish for all the world I could make vicious. It would be so much easier if the gentleness in her smile would melt into a frosty smug smirk upon catching sight of me. But it won't. She won't even notice me. She's noticing that thing he does where he bites down into his lower lip with his front teeth. An old habit. My old. Her new.

Winter snow was seeping into my shoes. I was thinking of that time my mother insisted I take tapestry weaving with her. We'd mess something up and just unravel the pattern back down to start over again. I wanted to unravel this scene. Is this what she felt when Dad left? Did she unravel our lives, thread by painful thread, back down to the starting weave?

Quietly, I mentally tugged at the threads of my self-control, my signature stoicism, and I pulled myself together. Like I always did. Besides, my fingers were starting to feel the chill, and the cold reality of it is---no matter how long you stand in the wet and the cold, you can't unravel a truth that was there all along. You just can't unknow.

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Tara Tsai on March 17, 2017, 10:37 a.m. said:

Tara Tsai


Oooh fun one Sara!!

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Maykathryn on March 16, 2017, 8:25 p.m. said:

Maykathryn


"An accident. An accident. An accident" The syllables slurred together. Un ox eden. Hen axe see din.
A twig snagged at her palm as she scrubbed her dirty palms against the grass, and she remembered to take a breath. She was covered in wet mud. She could barely see herself under all the dirt. In the dark. Why did it matter if there was dirt on her hands when there was dirt everywhere else too?
Her skin was crawling or there were bugs on her skin that were crawling. The tips of her fingers were stinging where clumps of earth had burrowed under her fingernails. She felt motion sick and closed her eyes and let her face just fall to the cool ground and rest for a moment. It smelled so clean. So safe.
She needed to get rid of her clothing.
Call the police, she thought. It was an accident.
"It WAS an accident," she said to the ground.
There was a car door slamming in the distance. Or a branch breaking. Or was that just her heart just cracking under the strain of its hard, heavy beating?
She had to get rid of these clothes.

Wooo! I've been waiting all through work to get to sit and play. Thanks for this! It gave me an excuse to crack open a new journal.

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Sara.Blevins on March 17, 2017, 6:42 a.m. said:

Sara.Blevins


"cracking under the strain of its hard, heavy beating" !! Ugh, i'm jealous of that line! <3 <3 <3

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J.M.Colbert on March 16, 2017, 1:56 p.m. said:

J.M.Colbert


I'm a little obsessed with picture number 2. Something about these natural landscapes with the aurora borealis, also I'm pretending this is a picture of Iceland because I'm a little obsessed with iceland right now. Here's something on the fly.
----------------------

Aristotle was cold, very cold. The silence of the great plain made it even worse, she could practically hear her bones rattling. "How can I get any pictures if my hands can't hold the camera," she mused to herself. She had spent the last year sucking up to her boss, placing hints and working long hours all so this February night she would have the opportunity to stand alone and shaking in front of one of the worlds great wonders. She couldn't decided if she wanted to share this moment with someone or keep it all to herself.

Time to get to work, with the tripod set up, and the camera waiting. She pulled her gloves off, blew warm air into her palms and started clicking away. Wrapped up in what the camera was catching, trying to make sure everything her eyes saw the camera was able to capture; they worked together, a team. She loved the camera. In fact, she almost told it so, but the second she opened her mouth she was caught off guard by the sound of falling rocks and sliding snow. About a half a mile a way, something was giving way on the hill. Aristotle watched the night try to settle and was struck with a wave of curiosity. She had the time. Why not a little a walk.

dun dun daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

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Tara Tsai on March 16, 2017, 2:41 p.m. said:

Tara Tsai


haha super fun! Nice job JM!

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Tara Tsai on March 16, 2017, 11:44 a.m. said:

Tara Tsai


Alright, so for me, here are the initial impressions and ideas I got from each picture. Feel free to take some of these ideas and run with them if you need some inspiration today!

Surfers: The two guys are having a deep discussion about something life changing. A death, an upcoming move, a recent break up, etc.

Green mountain: It's the middle of winter, but the mountain is located too far south for the glow to actually be the northern lights. The green glow is slowly throbbing, suggesting something alive. It may be magic, or aliens or some sort of crazy machine that a mad scientist only tests in the middle of the night. You decide.

Dirt Hands: This character has something to prove to himself. He set out on a journey to find himself through a solitary hike in the wilderness. He comes upon this waterfall, wishing to be rejuvenated, to wash his hands clean, to start over. (I just can't compete with Kimberly's inspiration here haha)

Headphones picture: She is a singer and listening/singing along to her favorite artist in her headphones. All of a sudden she gets a tap on the shoulder and that famous man is standing behind her in the apparel shop that she works in. She is starstruck. he loves her singing and her look and invites her to come to the studio to witness a recording session with him. I'm thinking a love story here :)

Football field: An exhausted foreign exchange student just starts at a college in the US. His strange clothes and briefcase make him get weird looks throughout his first day, and by the time his last class is over, he is so exhausted and out of his element. He travels somewhere to be alone and finds the football field. He sprawls out, frustrated. Soon his solitary moment will be interrupted by the marching band, and he realizes he wants to join.

Girl in trees: She's hearing some strange chanting with loud, syncopated drum rhythms. Beyond the pine trees she stumbles upon a lost civilization, a coven of witches, a rebellion, elves, etc.

Hope I helped spark some additional inspiration for someone!

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Sara.Blevins on March 17, 2017, 6:43 a.m. said:

Sara.Blevins


Any of these would be great story-starters! Great job!

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Kim Vale on March 16, 2017, 10:54 a.m. said:

Kim Vale


Okay, I might have gone overboard. But here is a poem for pic #3:

The dirt on my hands doesn't represent who I am.
The cigarettes I smoke aren't a mirror image of me.

You think you know me, but you don't.

You think that the cigarette between my fingers
is nothing more than a symbol for how
badass I think I am, in a world that really doesn't
give. a. shit.

You think that the boots I wear on my two feet
are nothing more than an attempt at
making myself intimidating, so that you don't
ask too many questions about
who. I. am.

You think that the classic model car I drive
is just a classic representation of how
big I think my junk is, in a society
obsessed. with. sex.

You think that the sunglasses I wear over the eyes that
have seen too much, are nothing more than a disguise,
a wall blocking you out, so that you can't find out
who. I. am.

You think you know me, but you don't.

If you did,
you wouldn't want to know me.

I don't even want to know me.

I am an asshole.
I am a miscreant.
I am a shadow on the wall,
a fool without a purpose,
a bird without its wings.

When the cigarette is snuffed,
when the boots are scuffed,
when the car is crashed,
when the sunglasses are scratched,
when the days that blur past mean more than just a 24 hour chunk of time that I hate myself,
then maybe,
just maybe,
this broken bird will learn to fly.

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