Sunday, April 12, 2009

Visual Writing Prompt

I love to take pictures. I’m not a professional, not even all that good as a matter of fact, but I still like to snap away. After downloading some from my camera, I got to thinking that pictures can be a means of prompting ideas, of giving you a visual way of thinking of something to write. With that in mind, I thought I’d post a Sunday Visual Writing Prompt.

This one was taken back in November. I live in central Texas and usually we don’t get much of a winter, let alone a Fall. This past year has been a heavy drought for us, though. Between the drought and some cool weather, we had some beautiful changes in the foliage. This is a normally green tree in the back yard. I was shocked to look outside one day and see this. It’s had some red leaves before, but this, for us, was spectacular. It reminded me of the trees I saw in Vermont while at the Vermont Studio Center during my residency there.

Perhaps it will inspire some ideas in some of you.

Happy Sunday Visual Writing Prompt Day. And, of course, Happy Easter.

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  1. I get visual prompts all the time from just looking at nature. Pretty good photo, btw - nice.

    Marvin D Wilson

  2. Thank you, Marvin. When you're describing something in a book, it's good to be able to look at the real thing, but a picture helps.

    Happy Easter!

  3. Great photo. I get inspired many times when I go for walks with Rascal and I see things I never noticed before.

    Morgan Mandel

  4. Like you, Helen, I LOVE taking photos, and I'm not that good, but they are such an inspiration when you click back through the camera and see all the wonders you caught on film. I am very much looking forward to hiking this spring/summer at our local state park. Beautiful waterfalls, an incredible lake and so much wildlife it's just amazing. I have actually taken pictures up there in the past, and then come home to write stories about the place. So helpful!! Especially when it's winter, and you find yourself longing for a taste of warm, hiking weather.

  5. Jenny, I took this particular picture, along with a few others, last November. I had forgotten all about them. It was fun to find them when I went to download the camera.

    I want to remember to take more pictures.

    Morgan & Jenny, walking and hiking are the best times to take pictures.

  6. Pretty pic, Helen. I often get blog ideas from the pictures I take, sort of the illustration coming before the words. A natural writing prompt.

    And Happy Easter to you!

  7. What a great photo! Beautiful.

    One of my favorite short stories that I wrote was for a photo prompt contest. Some images just go straight to the muse, don't they?


  8. Pictures do make great inspiration. I sometimes keep a picture from a magazine near me if it fits the scenery in my current WIP. The old saying, 'a picture is worth a thousand words' really is true. Of course I wouldn't write a thousand words in a novel describing a setting, but the picture might inspire more artistic or clever prose.

  9. That's a great idea, Susan -- keeping pictures close by when you're writing. They can not only be helpful, they can be inspirational.

  10. Hi, Helen. I've been doing photo haiku on my website recently. Sometimes the photo inspires the haiku, and sometimes the haiku makes me go take a photo. Each inspires the other. There's a sort of balance in that. For your photo I offer this:

    Nature's pallet stands
    Silent in its majesty
    Constant change of life

    Do you plan to do these Sunday photo prompts every Sunday? Just wondering.

  11. Thank you, Jon!

    I'm thinking of making it a Sunday thing. I've got some pictures lined up, but not too many. So, if I do it, I'll have to get out my trusty camera and keep it ready.


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