Writing from Photos – First Person

Even the smallest writing exercise can strengthen our writing muscles, help beat writer’s block, or prompt an entirely new story idea. One I like is to start with a photo of a character, then write a paragraph or a few lines of dialogue from their story. Just for fun, I’m making all of mine first-person for this post.

The great thing about this exercise is it’ll be different for everyone. If we got 10 writers together and gave them the exact same photos, we’d get 10 very different stories. If you’re inspired to write something for these photos, please share it in the comments. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Photo One

Writing from Photos - First Person writing exercise,

This is an art piece titled “Mentor of the Meek” by algenpfleger. The title and the way he’s holding his hand makes me think of a Jedi academy with old-fashioned swords instead of lightsabers.

Just because you can throw your opponent across the room with a thought doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know how to fight. What happens when you fight another Magic user? or if you’re in a country that bans Magic and you’d rather not attract attention? That’s what I tell my students.

They rarely argue with the need for lessens, though. What they argue about is not using their skills more often. I tell them only the weak fight just because they can. It takes a truly strong man hold his power in check.

Photo Two

Art by Eric Deschamp. Writing from Photos - First Person writing exercise,

This piece was a rare alternate cover image for IDW Magic The Gathering Comic Book Issue #1, and that’s all I’ve found out about it, other than the artist’s name Eric Deschamp.

I turned the corner and there he was at it again. I dare say she probably thought it was all her idea to try and seduce him. Artair looked up at me and smiled as he lifted the gold chain dripping with gems from around her neck. She was too busy nuzzling his throat to notice he was winking at me instead of falling for her charms. I pursed my lips together and walked in the other direction. If he wasn’t my brother I’d turn him over right this minute. I probably still should.

Photo Three

"A Pirate Selfie" by Katarzyna Oleska Writing from Photos - First Person writing exercise,

Beautiful, isn’t it? I have soft-spot for romanticized pirate costumes, and A Pirate Selfie by Katarzyna Oleska is a lovely example. My scene below features a guest appearance by the Pirate Ship Name Generator.

Even though The Dragon’s Slave was sailing away in the distance, stranding her on my deck, she looked defiant. There wasn’t a hint of fear in her eyes as she stood on the gunwales, a score of firearms pointed at her head and chest.

“Give me your ship’s boat,” she said.

It wasn’t the gun pointed square at my heart that made me hesitate to have her shot — it was that blasted key. If Captain Regina Blackhand took the key over the side with her I’d be the one dangling from a hangman’s noose.


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