I’ve pulled a lot of inspiration from random images I’ve found all over the Internet. An image of a cowboy with a katana became the impetus for The Clock Man. This image below became the opening scene of a short story I finished (and still need to edit and submit) about an assassin that kills by taking over people’s minds and making her hits look like suicides. Things naturally go all haywire and she winds up stuck in the mind of her target, running for her life while her AI controls her own body.
I often stumble across a picture and wonder how did it get to that point? A picture is a snapshot of a point in time. It may contain hints of the past or the future, but it’s largely a singular piece of right then and there. The rest of the story – before and after that snapshot – is entirely up to the viewer. In this way, we all create stories in our heads. Even if we don’t realize we’re doing it, those stories are being created and edited and turned into something magical all the time.
Not that I’m saying the pictures themselves aren’t magical; they often whisper volumes of magic. It’s up to us, the viewers, to give that magic a voice and breathe a past and future into that moment in time.
It’s also a really good writing exercise.
I ran one of these last year and had a couple people add short stories. So, not a bad response for my little blog. This time around, I’d like to try something a bit different. If you’re a writer, or just someone who fancies a challenge, take one of the pictures below and write something short about it. Keep it short, under 1k words or so. Tell the past, tell the future. Make it yours. I’ll be doing the same. When yours is done, let me know and I’ll reblog it. With a small bit of luck, we’ll get some interesting tales. If one of the pictures doesn’t work for you, pick a new one.
My story will be up later tonight or tomorrow. Here’s hoping I get some takers.