Have you done any people watching lately? The first time we looked at Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. Then we examined a 1930s Charles Walton photograph. After that, we speculated about the dynamics of two girls and a guy at the dinner table.
I loved reading your comments—the ideas evoked by those pictures. The backgrounds, personalities, and situations of each person.
Aside from knowing that a picture is worth 1000 words, a picture evokes 1000 stories.
If I showed a picture to a dozen students and told them to write a story based on it, I got a dozen unique and varied responses.
If I did this with 1000 students, guaranteed, they’d each have a different combination of character interactions, dialogs, motives, and plots.
As I’ve said before, I revel in this creative diversity. We each inherently have this innovative ability because we’re made in God’s image. See “Chickens at the State Fair.”
Whether you’re a story writer or not, your own creativity can shine with a little people watching.
This time, we’ll take a look at another photograph by photographer and past blog guest, Elmer Sparks.
What story is being suggested?
Take a few minutes to immerse yourself in this picture. Then think about these questions. There are no right or wrong answers! You’re calling the shots.
• Who is this girl in this bike race?
• Why is she in the bike race?
• What is the setting (approximate time, date, and place)?
• What is the tone/mood/atmosphere of this particular day?
• Is this her first race or not?
• If she has raced before, how many times, why, and how well did she do?
• What has led up to this race?
• What difficulties did she face before entering the race?
• What is her personality?
• What are her key character traits?
• What is her mood?
• Who is watching her race?
• Who is supporting/sponsoring her in this race?
• Does she have anything to prove to herself, family, or others?
• Does she know the other racers?
• What are the relationship dynamics among them? Are they friends or just competitors?
• What is she thinking at this moment?
• What is a typical day like for her?
• What does she aspire to?
• Where does she wish she was instead? Or is she happy to be here?
• What is the title of her story?
So many story possibilities! All in one picture.
So . . . how would YOU answer some of the questions above about this picture? What story do you see unfolding?
I welcome your comments below!