Monday, January 5, 2009

Play The Writing Game!

By Julia Buckley


Many creative writing teachers will ask students to focus on a particular detail as a starting point: perhaps it's a pair of blue ballet shoes, or a blade of grass or an oddly shaped cloud. That detail, fully explored, can become a story, a novel, a screenplay.

In the same way, sometimes one can get a glimmer of an idea from a photograph. In the spirit of Darlene's excellent list of sources, I propose a writing challenge: pick one of the random photos in today's blog, and write a "first sentence" of the story of that photograph. Indicate the number of the photo that gave you your creative impulse.

All participants get a set of Poe's Deadly Daughters bookmarks--but more importantly, you may get a sentence you want to extend into a longer work!

Happy New Year and Happy New Writing!














Laura Benedict said...

"I was always the bridesmaid, and never the bride--but at least, out of the four of us, I'm the one who made it out of the reception hall alive."


Julia Buckley said...

Ooooh--what a great opener, Laura! And how Poe-esque.

Iasa said...

we huddled together, unsure how to keep warm in the snow.

picture 11

Julia Buckley said...

I love the tension in this one, and the mystery of who "we" is.

Lonnie Cruse said...

Great teaching technique, Julia! Love this.

Darlene Ryan said...

"Ellie decided to get implants the moment she realized the only part of her that had made it into the group picture was her arms."

Photo # 8

Anonymous said...

I'd always thought a weeping child was the saddest thing in the world -- until I saw The House.

Photo 2

Janet K.

Julia Buckley said...

Very fun, Darlene! And anonymous, what a wonderful somber tone to start your story, which sounds like it will be a Gothic something.

Julia Buckley said...

Oops--I see your name now, Janet!

Julia Buckley said...

If all participants will please send their snail mail addresses to, I will send out your bookmarks!

Thanks for playing.

Stephen D. Rogers said...


"You dweeb; that's not a crab, that's a hand!"

Dana King said...


The boys stared into the cold water long after the bubbles disappeared.

Peter Rozovsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Rozovsky said...


The crisp fall air, the stately houses, the distant black hills full of promise; any more blissed out, and I'd have missed the kicking from the trunk.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Julia Buckley said...

Ooooh--Stephen, Dana, Peter! You are too good at this. I'm getting chills reading these beginnings. You are either mystery writers, or you once wrote for The Twilight Zone. Or maybe Night Gallery. :)

Peter Rozovsky said...

Nah, we just need some vicarious thrills in our lives.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Mystery Lady said...


She never heard his footsteps crunching across the snow as he came to kill her.