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. Then we viewed the bicyclist in a race and people traipsing through a winter snow.
As usual, 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.
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.
(If you happen to know who this guy is, pretend you don’t!)
• Who is this guy in the plane?
• Who is the person next to him? You can see a third hand, bottom right.
• Do these two passengers know each other?
• What is the setting (approximate time, date, and place)?
• What is the tone/mood/atmosphere of this particular day?
• Is this his first time in a plane or not?
• Is it his first time flying a plane or not?
• What has led up to this day?
• Where are they and where are they headed? Why?
• What difficulties did he face before getting in this plane?
• What is his personality?
• What are his key character traits?
• What is his mood?
• How long will they be in the air?
• Does he have anything to prove to himself, family, or others?
• What are the relationship dynamics between the two passengers?
• What is he thinking at this moment?
• What is a typical day like for him?
• What does he aspire to?
• Where does he wish she was instead? Or is he happy to be here?
• What is the title of his 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!