There’s something about a good picture that can transport you to another place and time. Images have the ability to evoke feelings and emotions, which is why they make great prompts for writing stories. They can be used for fiction or non-fiction writing, and they can be used in any genre.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to use image prompts for writing a story from a picture. We will also provide some tips on how to get the most out of an image!
Why Image Prompts Work
Every picture tells a story, but that story can vary wildly from person to person. What one person sees in an image might be completely different from what someone else sees. This is why images make such great prompts for writing stories.
When you’re looking at an image, try to let your mind wander and see what story unfolds before you. It can be helpful to ask yourself some questions about the image, such as:
- What is happening in this picture?
- Who are the people in this image?
- What are they feeling?
- Where is this taking place?
- What time period is this image from?
- What might happen next?
These are just a few examples.
Asking yourself these questions can help you to develop a richer story from an image. Not only that, but if you have already begun writing a story, you can find an image of a them or setting and use that to help you develop your story further and kick through writer’s block.
Tips For Writing A Story From An Image
The good thing about this method is you can use any picture in the world. You do not need to worry about any sort of copyright or permission.
Where to Find Picture Prompts for Creative Writing
You can find images from:
- social media
- the internet- really anywhere.
One tip is to try and use an image that you have not seen before. One that makes you yourself wonder about it’s backstory.
Once you have found an image that you would like to use as a prompt, there are a few things that you can do to help you get the most out of it.
First, take some time to really look at the image and take it all in. Let your mind wander and see what story begins to form in your head.
Next, try to spend at least five minutes writing about the image. It can be helpful to set a timer so that you do not get too bogged down in the details.
The important thing is to just let the words flow and not worry too much about spelling or grammar. Whatever you write should just be a mindmap or rough draft – so just focus on getting your ideas down on paper.
Finally, once you have written for five minutes, take a step back and read what you have written.
See if there are any elements of the story that you would like to explore further.
If so, take as long as you need to build these individual concepts out. You could have a fresh page for each concept, or you could just keep writing on the same page, linking it all together.
It’s really up to you!
The most important thing is that you have fun and enjoy the process; letting your creative juices flow.
Image Prompt Mood Boards
Another trick is to create a mood board with other images that complement the original one. This can help you to come up with new ideas and plot points for your story.
For example, if you are using an image of a beach, you could include pictures of people swimming, sunsets, waves crashing against the shore, etc.
You can do this either digitally or by physically cutting out images from magazines and gluing them onto a piece of card.
This can be used for scenes, themes, universes, or even characters. If you use a story writing journal, you could make a page for each mood board, and your creative mind map on the facing page.
Using Pinterest Boards As Prompts
Pinterest boards are a great way to gather visual inspiration for stories.
If you are struggling to find an image to use as a prompt, take a look at other people’s boards and see if anything catches your eye. You can simply search for a keyword or theme and a whole range of images will come up.
For example, if you wanted to write a story set in the 1920s, you could search for “1920s fashion” or “1920s party” and get some great ideas!
You can also use Pinterest boards to gather a series of pictures for story writing and create your own mood boards (as mentioned above).
To do this, simply create a new board and start pinning images that you like.
You can make the board as big or as small as you like, and you can add to it whenever you want.
This is a great way to keep all of your visual writing prompts in one place so that you can come back to it whenever you need some new ideas.
Using Images for Fiction Writing
If you are writing a fiction story, you can go wild with this! Your only limit is your imagination. The great thing about fiction is that you can make the story as outlandish as you want.
Many people use image prompts for ideas for children’s stories.
For example, let’s say you are writing a picture book and you found this picture:
You can make up a story about a family of bears who live in the forest. The mother bear is sick and the father bear has to go find food for the family. He leaves the two baby bears with their grandfather.
While he is gone, the baby bears get into mischief. They climb a tree and end up getting stuck. Grandfather bear has to rescue them.
This is just one example of the many stories you could write from this single picture prompt.
Remember, the sky is the limit when it comes to fiction writing! Let your imagination run wild.
What About Non-Fiction Writing? Can You Use Image Prompts, Too?
Image prompts can be useful for a variety of genres, not just fiction. They can help you get your creative juices flowing when you’re feeling stuck, or provide a way to access parts of your imagination you might not otherwise be able to tap into.
For example, I once used an image prompt to write a non-fiction piece about a cultural festival I’d attended. The photo showed people in traditional dress dancing around a bonfire, and it inspired me to write about the history and meaning behind the festival.
So, if you find yourself struggling to write non-fiction, give image prompts a try. You might be surprised at what you come up with!
How do you feel about using visuals to help with your writing? Do you have any tips for using image prompts? Share them in the comments below!
You might also find some of these writing prompts useful: