Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Picture's Worth 1,000 Words

This saying is truer than you know.  But, in fact, a picture can be worth so many more than just 1,000. 

When facing a writing lull (also known as writer's block) one of the best things that I've found a writer can do is find a picture.  Do a google image search to find a picture that reminds of your story.  This can be a place in the story (my personal favorite), or a picture of a person or really anything that make you think of your story.

Now for the fun part...

Give the picture a nice long look.  Examine it; try to get a good feel for what's going on in the picture and try to take in every detail.  Then, describe it.  Go back and forth between the picture and your writing and do your best to capture the scene in the most vivid way possible.  What color is the sand on the beach?  Just how tall are the castle's towers?  How bright are the eyes of that girl?  Every little detail needs to be captured as well as you can capture it.

So now you're done, and where has this left you?  Well, to begin with, you now have an in-depth description of a scene or character in your book.  You can plug this in anywhere you like.  You're also now in the swing of writing again, having just written that beautiful description.  And finally, you have a starting point.  Don't stop at the description's end.  Keep going; write what happened to your characters int his place.  Imagine that the picture is now moving and the girl is doing something.  From this point, you have free reign over what happens next.

Well, that's my big "how to beat writer's block" post.  And, of course, you can use this simply as a warm up to get in the swing of writing for the day, or to start a scene that you weren't sure how to begin before. 

If you guys decide to give this a try, I'd love to know how it works out for you.  It's one of my favorite methods, even if it doesn't really work for the book I'm writing now (there's, literally, one setting in this damn thing).

Hope you all are well,

~Maddi J.


  1. I think this is a great idea. In fact I tried to find an image to post on my blog for a writing prompt. I did not find one I liked for a prompt - but so many of them sparked ideas for stories. Like one about being reborn - as a dragon. Now that would be cool.

    The other cool thing about pictures, is they speak to each person differently.

  2. Definitely. It's all up to your own interpretation. That's one of the best things about it. You can give 100 writers the same exact picture and end up with 100 completely different stories.

    I'm glad you like the idea and I hope that it can help you some time in the future. Thanks for the comment.