Monday, May 28, 2012

Writing Prompts and Character Development

by M. J. Joachim
Updated 4/22/16

Using the photo as a writing prompt, we’re going to transform it into a story, and delve into the process of character development a little bit today. 

Here's what you need to do.

Part 1

Intensely stare at the picture.

Find one intriguing aspect of it, something your imagination can work with, and zoom in on that one aspect of the photo.

Use as many descriptive words as you can to bring that one, solitary aspect of the photo to life for your readers.

When you are finished with this, step back – go get a cup of coffee, splash your face with water, change the laundry or walk outside to breathe the fresh air.

Part 2

Think like an artist. Notice every aspect of color in the photo, and describe how it enhances your focal point from Part 1.

Pay attention to shading and lines – depicting how they add to or detract from the element you’re writing about. Give them a role to play in your story. Use the contrast of such things to promote and inhibit the intention of your story. Let them be friends and adversaries, each contributing to the personality of that one aspect you want to capture the most attention from Part 1.

Part 3

Set the scene. Place your character and all the supporting players on the stage. Use the background of the photo to determine where any action will or won’t take place.

Talk about external conditions like the weather, intruders and those who work diligently behind the scenes to make the entire scenario possible.

This is no longer an image of a canna in a photo. This is a tool for writing inspiration.

Write your story and (if you publish it), please send me an email with a link to your page. And yes, you may include a copy of this picture in your post if you do. Please contact me for use of this photo, outside of this exercise.

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