Writing from Character Photos

Not quite two months ago, I started a group Pinterest board for collecting images to use as character inspiration. There have been some lovely pictures just full of stories waiting to be explored pinned over there in the past couple weeks, and I thought I’d share a few from my fellow pinners.

I’ve shared a few of my ideas for potential stories, along with a paragraph of fiction for each image. If you write something as well, please share it in the comments — I’d love to read what you come up with!

pinned by Victoria Laws

Other than an under-water photo shoots, what story might lead a character to this point? Is she drowning by accident or design? Or maybe the story begins with this scene and she’s about the be rescued. Or perhaps she isn’t drowning at all …

The reconstruction was perfect — it looked exactly like the salon in a human palace. Clear crystals set in the ceiling reflected light down into the sunken rooms, illuminating the party goers. Nerissa swirled her tail to spread the voluminous skirt out and blew bubbles toward the ceiling. She’d heard of humans dressing up as mermaids, and now it was the merfolk’s turn to dress-up as humans.

pinned by Alissa & Josiah Yarbrough

Could be a speculative-fiction setting, but if so is she the one with these visible powers or is it someone off screen? Or perhaps there is a perfectly non-magical explanation.

I set the fires like clockwork every new moon. There’s no reason — I just don’t want them to show up too close together. Burning papers from the studies, libraries, and offices of Alesaidra’s most important men fill the windy city on its darkest nights. In each room I find another piece of the puzzle — a bracelet, a letter, a scrap of fabric– that will tell me who murdered my parents.

pinned by Krysten Arbuckle

Seems like a perfectly normal period setting, wouldn’t you say? An upper-class girl sits at the piano practicing while winter shivers the trees outside. It’s her face that catches my eye, and I wonder is someone just walked in the room. If so, who? and if not, what is she looking at?

The door opened just wide enough to admit the viscount. Her fingers paused over the keys and the piano fell silent.

“Have you considered my proposal?” he asked.

She stood, shutting the piano. “Yes. I’ll do it. I’ll be your spy.”


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