Picture This

tree swing sIt is time for another ekphrastic challenge, if only because I just love how that sounds like Greek (note to self, that’s because it is, duh!).

So this week’s creative writing prompt is this enigmatic picture. Your task is to stare at it until an idea forms, then start writing.

You may approach this prompt several ways. Begin by jotting down all the words that spring to mind as you look at the image. This may then become a list poem.

Or you could do some free-writing, just gabble on paper, whatever, however. This may become a journal entry, or perhaps the start of an article or piece of creative non-fiction.

But how about writing a short story? Imagine you are there, perhaps taking the photo, or watching the person with the camera. Imagine what is going on behind the scenes, what has just happened, what is about to happen, who is involved.

Imagine there are people just out of the shot. Ask yourself what these people were doing yesterday and the day before. What are they going to do tomorrow? What makes them interesting today? What is their STORY?

You’re the writer so you can make all this up from your imagination, give the characters and places names, create their lives in any way you choose.

As always, when you are writing a story ask: who, why, what, where, when and how? Consider which viewpoint is best (whose story is it?) and decide if you are writing in first person (me, I, us, our), second person (you, your) or third person (he, she, it, they, them). Then decide if you are writing in the present tense (now) or past (then).

If you’d like to see your story – I suggest 2,000 words – in print, check the submissions windows of the magazines and journals you like. And of course, look out for writing competitions. You’ll find more helpful info at writing.ie, prizemagic.co.uk and creativewriting.ie. Good luck!

New  here? Welcome! For the past year I have been posting a prompt to trigger new creative writing every Wednesday at 5pm, Dublin time. Sometimes I suggest stories, flash fiction, memoir, poetry, sometimes creative non-fiction, whatever. There’s some more info here.