A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…Probably More.

I always dreaded a weekend of reading student created stories. Of course I was the one who had given them the writing prompt to begin with. It was always something like “Tell about a trip you took” or “If you had three wishes…” The vast majority of the results from these 11 and 12-year old writers were dreadful.

One night with my eyes barely able to stay open a thought occurred. We live in a very visual world, why not present a picture as a prompt? The next day I tried using a simple picture of a bicycle without a front tire, abandoned on the side of the road. All I said was “Tell me what happened?” The results had me laughing, crying, and taking more pictures.

Now that I am creating my own stories I find myself writing better when I have a picture of a scene. The words and ideas come flowing out of me. Often I will be stuck in a scene or subplot and after doing a quick search for images of something in that scene, the words begin to flow

Try it out. Here are a few images to get your story telling juices flowing. I used the first one in Awesome Sauce.


I can think of multiple stories for each one or how about one story that incorporates all. If you are a teacher, use them in your classroom and enjoy the results.



About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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