One of my favorite writing exercises is to take a picture and describe it using words. This exercise helps me develop new ways to write about details and settings to help my reader understand the time and place of my story. Some popular sources of pictures to write about include the following:
- album covers
- old photos
- magazine Ads
This week, find a picture or photograph you’d like to recreate with words: What colors do you see? Any plants or animals? Any people? If so, what are they doing? Is there furniture such as a chair, table, or desk? What do you think it would feel like to sit in that chair or at that table or desk? Are there musical instruments? Any artwork on the walls?
As always, take five or ten minutes and list out everything you see in the picture you’re writing about. Once you do that, make another list of how you think things smell, feel, and sound if you were in the location where the picture was taken. Then, let the words flow.
I encourage you to think of these writing prompts more like going to a gym. Each workout will only help you develop the story you want to tell in the way you want to tell it. Sensory details lift stories from the page into our hearts.
If you’d like to learn more on how to systematically write about photographs to enliven your stories, consider starting your video library with Writing with Photographs from Writing Instruction with Patricia on Demand.
In this video, I teach you how to look at the image to glean details you might not have noticed before. You’ll also receive a practice exercise as well as a note-taking outline and lifetime access to the video for the sale price of $9.95 (usually $19.95).
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Let me show you how to do more than simply include photos in your story. Instead, bring them to life with vivid, detailed writing.
Are you ready? Find that image, and let’s write.