Prepared by: Florence Cardinal
Posted on: Sun, 20 May 2001
Reposted on: Sat, 23 May 2004
Most of what we write comes from actual
things we see. However, we
everywhere and see everything. Sometimes we have to rely on what others
seen, for instance, paintings or photographs. We have to let our
imaginations carry us into the scene we are looking at.
For this exercise, first tell us, in just
a few words, what you have
to write about. It doesn't have to be a Gainesborough or a Van Gogh.
calendar picture will do.
Now, put yourself into that scene and, in
300 words or less, write a
that takes place in that picture. Even if it's a scenic view only, have
least two characters interacting in some way in your story.
Florence Cardinal's wrap-up
Posted on: Sun, 27 May 2001
I was truly amazed and delighted at the
variety and creativity and
of imagination this exercise evoked. Pictures varied from personal
calendar photos to artwork by the Old Master. Even personal artwork.
Topics ran the gamut from romance to
supernatural to fantasy/SF. The
was trying to get across was that ideas are everywhere. All it takes is
bit of stimulation (like a picture) and a good dose of imagination. I
believe the success of this exercise proved the point.
Well done, everyone. I'm looking forward
to the next exercise.
Patricia Johnson's wrap-up
Posted on: June 4, 2004
This is the wrap-up for the Picture It
exercise from the week of May
The submissions this time favored pictures
that included human
with nature and within family settings. Some of the pictures used to
start stories included family members in front of a house, a picture of
two meteors in the night sky, a prayer rock in a Siberian national
a mountain painting (with music also!), and a Lucian Freud painting.
Imaginations were used to create unique
stories from the chosen
Atmospheres and time periods emerged that allowed readers to see a
come to life. Readers saw pictures clearly through use of the senses,
especially through visual details. Careful word choices and sentence
structures allowed just a few lines to develop a story. Some stories
showed potential to be developed into longer pieces.
Several critiques mentioned the need to
pay attention to verb
avoid switching between past and present unless there was a reason.
Readers often wanted to know more about a story and suggested
them. Short, direct dialogue worked well in conjunction with detail in
this exercise. Revealing the conflict near the end added suspense.
The next time we do the exercise it would
work to be succinct, to
the most detail out of every word, and to carefully craft the
Build characters into the story with good description and use of the
senses. Have a picture that is easy for the reader to visualize. In
addition, allowing our imaginations free reign may add to the story
Thanks to everyone for participating, it
was another great week.
Web site created by
Rhéal Nadeau and
the administrators of the Internet Writing Workshop.
Modified by Gayle Surrette.