April 2020 has come and gone, but COVID-19 lingers on…

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Facebook meme

For over a month now, every state in Australia has been in some form of lockdown and the measures taken by various levels of government appear to have worked.  Unlike other parts of the world, we have successfully flattened the curve quickly and some states are looking at some relief from isolation by relaxing social distancing advice.

However, in Australia people have died and lives of many changed forever.

Each day there are still fresh cases of coronavirus reported, but nowhere near the numbers other countries are recording. Social distancing and quarantining appear to have worked because most of the population have respected the need for and obeyed the rules and the various public health messages.

In my little corner of Mordialloc, it has been strange–and very pleasant–to see less traffic and few parked cars. People are going on family walks,  strolling in pairs or singly, entire families take the dog for a walk! Children play in the street, and chalk rainbows, love hearts, and well wishes.

All of this reminiscent of my childhood in the 50s (Scotland) and 60s (Australia).

Friends in other places have similar observations with a friend in Aberdeen who walks several miles a day through the lovely countryside of Inverurie, commenting when she rang me that the lack of cars has meant less pollution. She only washes her hair every few days rather than daily and no ‘black muck’ appears in the water!

A Time of Reflection

The last few weeks I’ve put up posts with ideas and prompts to help people who want to write or who have been writing but can’t go to classes or their usual groups because of COVID-19.

For some people writing will be a fill-in hobby, others may dream of a novel or collection of short stories sitting in a bookshop window.

There will be people writing life stories or a memoir which is a slice of their life, perhaps family history or researching for a school project or essay.

Feedback suggests the posts have been helpful but now as we near a ‘new normal’, perhaps it is time to record the experiences you’ve had over this period. You can incorporate them in a poem or short story or journal about them – but leaving some record for future generations is helpful – create a time capsule if you will…

People will look for historical records about the pandemic,  just as we’ve seen plenty of articles about the 1918 Flu Epidemic, the Ebola and SARS outbreaks and even the Bubonic Plague.

“If writers stopped writing about what happened to them, then there would be a lot of empty pages.”

Elaine Liner

  • List what you have been doing to cope
  • How is it different from life before lockdown and social distancing
  • Make note of what you like and what you don’t like about isolation – I know some people have already made resolutions to value friendship and family more, live with less material things, value the environment more…
  • Ponder how your life has changed and whether any behaviours or activities will remain even once free of lockdown restrictions

This is a monumental period in history – global pandemics do not happen that often!

  • You may have experienced personal tragedy but also joy, or have knowledge of someone whose journey has differed from yours.
  •  Have you made recent friends, lost established friends, or discovered qualities such as strengths or failings in people, whether family members or in the community?
  • What new skills have you learned?
  • What old skills have you revived?
  • Has your opinion of technology changed? Have you improved/increased your use of technology or do you regret your lack of knowledge?
  • How is homeschooling or working from home actually working out?
  • Have you received or sent parcels? What were the contents? How did the experience work out?
  • Are you a hoarder, panic buyer or did you manage to go without those items in much demand like toilet paper, flour, pasta and rice.
  • Did your use of social media increase, decrease, what you shared change?
  • Did you join any new online groups?

Have you ‘hit the wall’ yet – how are your anxiety levels?

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Facebook meme

Are You More Present in Your Life?

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presents my eldest daughter sent during isolation

Rich sensory experiences surround us daily — IF we take the time to observe and as writers note them down.

Become a keen observer and recorder of the sensory intricacies of life.  Make it a habit to jot down your observances in a journal or snap a photo to remind you of the weather, the season, the unusual occurrence… on my daily walks with Josie, I take at least one photograph of something interesting or new I notice –  a cloud formation or blossoming flower.

Sometimes these changes are close to home – like this Yucca plant of mine that has flowered for the first time in nearly a decade! And the interesting fungi in the front garden – in fact fungi seems to mushroom all over Mordialloc – or maybe I’m just noticing it more.

Or these pigeons sitting in a bird bath – can you imagine the conversation? The one in my garden annoys the lorikeets but loves feeding on the seeds they spit out, and the ones on the deserted footy oval are excellent at social distancing.

What stories can you make up?

Have the parcel postman or couriers visited more than usual?

Contactless deliveries can bring surprises – write the story behind the parcels:

I haven’t seen my daughter, Anne, for weeks because of COVID-19 restrictions and miss her. I know she misses me and her sister but also misses Josie, our Kelpie/Staffy Cross who gives us so much pleasure. She has earned this certificate made by number two daughter, Mary Jane:

She got a special delivery from Anne to celebrate her first year with us. Josie was a rescue dog but with the Pet Circle parcel became a lucky dog!

I received a parcel to learn pottery, a gift that gives twice because the arts and crafts have suffered from the economic shutdown and this helps to keep a small workshop viable.

One of my sisters sent me a knitted version of my favourite poet Rabbie Burns – knitting her forte but new projects helping her cope with being stuck more inside than usual and of showing she is thinking of family.

The picture of the praying mantis snapped by me after my daughter told me we had a visitor at the door!

Small delights happen every day and we mustn’t forget to notice and appreciate them and let our imagination roam.

Devote some time to dwell on daydreams. They are spontaneous messages from our subconscious. Not everyone has a daydream-friendly mind. In fact, some people have been taught to repress daydreams as mere distractions.

As writers, however, we should not only welcome daydreams but train ourselves to be aware of them. In fact, the core of most of my novels has come from daydreams. Daydreams are our primal storyteller at work, sending us scenes and topics that our imagination or subconscious wants us to investigate.

Each day, we should devote time (I usually do this before sleeping) to reviewing our daydreams and determining which of them insists on being turned into a story. Don’t push away those daydreams that make you uncomfortable: The more shocking the daydream, the more truthful about us it is. Embrace that truth.

David Morrell

Have Your Rituals Changed?

I’m retired from teaching at the moment – the return of breast cancer and arrival of coronavirus a perfect storm.

My morning ritual of observing the visiting lorikeets goes on for an extended period now and I never tire watching them come and go to feed at other times of the day or enjoying each other’s company in the bottlebrush outside my bedroom window.

Here is a slice of life short story of what my morning used to be like: Mornings by Mairi Neil, a slice of life

Josie enjoys watching them too.

Do you have a morning ritual? Has it changed recently like mine has?

Are you doing more cooking? Experimenting? There was a shortage of flour, eggs, sugar – in fact, lots of items disappeared from supermarket shelves in panic buying sprees. This made for some creative recipes being shared on social media.

I received an interesting recipe from the Jean Hailes Clinic for Women’s Health devised by naturopath and herbalist Sandra Villella, and because coronavirus disrupted ANZAC Day this year; I tried the new recipe for Anzac Biscuits and can testify to their yumminess (how healthy is that)!

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This variation of Anzac biscuits is a healthier alternative to traditional Anzacs and results in a dark, slightly chewy variety of the biscuit. We understand some ingredients may be difficult to find in supermarkets at present. You could try your local health food shop, otherwise use the substitutes listed under ‘Ingredients’. You’ll still be getting the low-GI goodness of rolled oats.

  • 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut or shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Substitutions (which I used)

Swap the wholemeal spelt flour for plain or wholemeal flour
Swap the coconut sugar for white sugar
Swap the maple syrup for golden syrup

Method: Preheat oven to 160°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, coconut and coconut sugar.
In a small saucepan, stir the butter and maple syrup over medium heat until butter melts and the mixture is smooth. Take off the heat. Stir the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to butter and maple syrup.
Add to the oat mixture and stir well to combine.
Roll level tablespoons of the mixture into balls and flatten.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Nutritional Info: Our knowledge of nutrition has progressed somewhat since World War II. We now know that we need to eat more whole-foods and less processed foods. While these biscuits are still a sweet treat, the maple syrup is far less processed than golden syrup traditionally used in Anzac biscuits. Coconut sugar is a lower GI alternative compared to white sugar and provides small amounts of nutrients not found in white sugar. The goodness of rolled oats, an excellent source of beta-glucan soluble fibre that helps to reduce cholesterol; combined with wholemeal spelt flour, provides healthy whole grains to balance out the sweetness.

Has technology been Your Friend or Foe?

learning ZOOM
Another Facebook meme

I’m lucky because I’ve kept abreast of many of the changes in technology and my computer literacy and competency better than others in my age group. Both my daughters are highly skilled with technology so they fill any gaps exposed when dealing with this catastrophic virus.

I downloaded and have now used ZOOM several times. The first time there were minor glitches but subsequently, there have been no problems.

  • Courtesy of the Health Issues Centre, I’ve heard medical experts and local consumer health reps discuss the current crisis and offer opinions, ideas and suggestions to the government.
  • Courtesy of the Australia Institute, I’ve listened to economic experts and been able to ask questions of them, including the Shadow Treasurer, Jim Chalmers MP and hope to take part in other sessions with Media, Environmental and Arts representatives.
  • Courtesy of the trade union movement, I’ve taken part in sessions with the first woman ACTU Secretary, Sally McManus and the first woman General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Sharan Burrow.

Many organisations are organising online discussions and hoping for feedback from as many ordinary Australians as possible.  This is an unusual time and who knows how much more difficult life will become after the health crisis eases and we must face a devastating economic crisis.

Stay informed, raise your voice, be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

My daughters have used ZOOM and other platforms to catch up with friends all over Australia and internationally, and many people rely on similar software while working from home.

We have had trivia and movie nights and I love hearing the laughter when a group of them get together but I know many people are not so fortunate.

What have been your experiences with technology? Do you have a disaster or comical story? Do you use Face Time on Messenger?

What type of social media helps you stay in touch with those you can’t visit? Or do you prefer a phonecall, text and email?

Facetime becomes a regular thing
The first time, I contacted my daughter via Messenger at beginning of COVID-19 crisis

Here is a piece of flash fiction inspired by a sound (I mentioned incorporating sound in a previous post). The setting is in the 1930s when the world went through the Great Depression – yes; we have survived economic crises before too. Night Terror by Mairi Neil, flash fiction.

But to end on a funny note involving current times and technology, here is another Facebook meme doing the rounds.

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Two days ago we experienced the coldest April day on record in Melbourne.

storm brewing

Today is definitely wintry – stay safe inside, stay well and stay strong – and scratch that pen or tap the keyboard. If all ideas fail, you can do what people normally do when they get together – but write don’t talk about the weather!

Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood – you will either write or you will not – and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.

Jim Tully, Writer’s Digest 1923

Happy Writing



Create Characters and Give Them a Problem to Solve



Day Seven – Characters Must Be Driven

I’m not talking about chauffeuring here – although there are plenty of stories involving characters who are drivers or people being driven around:

  • Truckies
    Bus drivers
    Taxi drivers
    Uber Drivers
    Limo drivers
    Anyone really with a driving licence…
  • Passengers can be
    Government or non-government officials/employees
    General public
    Wedding/funeral parties

The list is long… and once you start adding other types of drivers – train, tram, ferries, – even horse and cart… it gets longer.


I’m talking about the advice nearly every writing website gives you concerning characters and using these definitions of driven:

  1. To have or feel pressure applied to act in a certain way – a need, a desire,
  2. To be in a certain emotional state eg. he/she/it drives me crazy – drives me to distraction

This is advice based on Joseph Campbell’s book (obligatory reading for many creative writers) The Hero With A Thousand Faces.

There are many permutations and combinations of this idea – certain genres like sci-fi, fantasy and adventure movies, with stories drawing on mythology,’s legends and fables, fit into the formula well. Hence the popularity of Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings, the Indiana Jones movies, JK Rowland’s, Harry Potter, and the Star Wars, Marvel and DC movies…

The advice works for other writing too if you remember the aim is to hook the reader into empathising and caring about the characters.


  • Most stories grow from character – the character needs something or wants something –
  • What stops them being successful – what obstacles must they encounter and triumph over for success (or maybe failure!).

Your main character must want something, sets out on a journey to get it, and by the end of the story, after overcoming obstacles, the character is changed but has achieved the aim or an altered or scaled-down success.

Novels often have an antagonist (adversary/enemy) as well as a protagonist (hero/good guy/woman) and a small or large cast of others relevant to the story/ back story/ sub-stories.

Short stories can’t have a huge range of characters, they often only have one the reader can get ‘to know’ and sometimes the journey to change is internal, inside the protagonist or main character’s head, and the obstacles to overcome, imaginary, prosaic or ephemeral.

However, memoir and creative non-fiction must have the main character to focus on and the most popular ones in recent years have been on a journey similar to Campbell’s heroes.

They write a slice of life where they have overcome grief, addiction, ill health or some other personal tragedy by soldiering on or challenging themselves to work their way through and survive the catastrophe – older and wiser/healthier/happier/perhaps they have found a new love – whatever has happened, they have changed!

All of the above is the usual or expected structures but creative writing is whatever the creator decides and the old saying know the rule before you break them applies. If you are confident, break the rules, surprise the reader.

Certain tropes and structures work, as can the surprises and deviation from the usual format. Sometimes the underlying character expectations remain, the change is subtle or the protagonist dies to achieve the aim, or before achieving it.


Where Can You Get Character Ideas?

Some of the following suggestions ARE NOT ADVISABLE while the world is dealing with COVID19, but once this dystopian nightmare ends – as it surely will – in the words of the BBC I remember as a child “normal service will be resumed”.

(When TV transmission was in its infancy there were many times apologies came over the airwaves. Nowadays it is Telstra or Optus apologising for Internet drop out.)

1. People-watch.

Who do you pass on the street? See on public transport, waiting at bus stops, or passing by your window. (This you can do now!)

Go to a shopping centre or a café and watch the people around you. Maybe even strike up a conversation and learn their stories a la Arnold Zable’s Café Scheherazade.

  • Make notes about who you see and build a description.
  • How do they dress and present themselves?
  • Look at their facial expressions, their gestures, how they move, how they interact with each other.
  • Try to imagine their lives.
  • Watch people in line at the supermarket – listen to their conversations, pay attention to what they’re buying.
  • Speculate – do they live by themselves or with children?  Do they have pets?  Do they cook a lot, or do they keep pre-cooked food in their freezers?  Are they planning a party?  Or, are they possibly drinking too much alone?

As I’ve mentioned before – ask questions, observe details, let the writer’s curiosity gene work overtime.

Every one of these people can become a fictional character in your stories.

It is amazing how story ideas or memories triggered will emerge once you start writing down the answers to questions.

2: Get ideas from the newspaper.

You may have to search the local papers or magazines for alternative stories while the COVID19 crisis is filling every facet of news media.

Newspapers are a rich source of character ideas. When you read about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, try to imagine the people behind the headlines. There are also lots of images of people, subjects to be used in stories, in advertisements, brochures, leaflets, online sites…

There are even plots to explore, expand or adapt.

  • What might have caused a particular woman to poison her husband?
  • What kind of person might she be?
  • What about her husband?
  • Why did the house invasion happen
  • Why was a particular item stolen
  • Where could the person reported missing be?
  • Why did the teenager run away?

The people you imagine are likely to be very different from the real people involved in the news item.

We all perceive people and life differently because we bring our own experience and prejudices. The fictional characters you have invented can be used however you like – take the bones of a court case, or an event and expand it, perhaps give it a different outcome.

Wedding announcements and obituaries are great places to look for character ideas and names.

Obituary columns often give a potted history of someone’s life, highlighting challenges overcome and their achievements. All of this detail can be tweaked but you may find a ready-made historical novel or plot.

People never seem to tire of stories about kings and queens, war heroes, even famous villains and each story whether a novel, play or film is different.


3. Get ideas from names

Have you ever heard a name and been intrigued by its origins, or laughed aloud, or pitied the poor girl/boy stuck with that monicker?

Maybe you are one of those stuck with a nickname you hate or have memories of convoluted pronunciations of your family name.

A name triggers a heap of thoughts, associations, memories based on its sound and on the people we have known or heard of with that name or similar names.

You might even have a relative or ancestor with a name begging to be immortalised in a story so that readers will be intrigued or remember your character.

If you have a description of a character remember to choose a name that fits.

For example:

What name might suggest a seventy-year-old woman with greying hair pushed back behind her ears. She wears no makeup and has worry lines along the sides of her mouth. She is slim and fit from taking long walks every day in comfortable walking shoes. She strides as if on her way to solve an urgent problem.

Miss Jane Marple anyone?

The middle-aged sleuth’s creator was writer Agatha Christie. Along with Jane, Agatha may be considered an old-fashioned name conjuring an older woman, as does Mavis, Mildred, Amelia, even Elizabeth and Margaret. Some names have travelled time well, along with their other connotations (Liz, Betty, Meg, Millie…)

Part of a writer’s job is almost ordained by the name chosen for the character because of cultural knowledge and expectations. Soapie stereotypes work for a reason in some genres.

However, originality is always a goal and we are in an age where people eschew handing down family names and may call their children after celebrities, sportspeople or even made-up names.

Remember Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence Geldof? Also Peaches, Fifi Trixibelle and Pixie Geldof…

You can choose names at random from a phone book or another directory (Baby Naming books are still popular). Or write down a list of names that occur to you and think of how you can place one of those people in your story, or what kind of story does their name suggest.

4: Mix and Match

You can base characters on real people you know (wreak revenge by killing off the rude neighbour or that relative you don’t like…) and this can work by changing their name and some aspects of their appearance.

However, it may be difficult to stop thinking of the real person and imagine the character separately and this can limit your imagination. It is better to mix aspects of various characters you have made notes about and create a new person from random observations plus aspects of people you know/knew/read about/saw on documentaries etc.

You can invent a character partly based on your father, one of your high school teachers, and your boss or ex-boss.  You might base a character on a male you know, but make the character female who looks like a waitress you saw at a restaurant or a commuter.

By combining characteristics in unexpected ways, you make your characters seem more three-dimensional, memorable, and unique.

This mix and match will even work for life stories or memoir.

Truth or honesty is a given when writing about close family members or someone important in your life story but no one’s memory is infallible. There may be scenes you want to create to make the story interesting but you can’t remember the exact details of some distant relatives, or doctors, dentists, teachers… yet these people figure in your memoir so description and dialogue must be created to make the story come alive.

Experiment and have fun choosing strong and striking qualities to create unique characters for your stories.

5: Turn your characters into more characters

Finally, remember that each character you create will give you even more character ideas. A protagonist needs an antagonist, a character may need a family, a partner, a business associate…

  • Who is in your character’s family?
  • What are your character’s parents like?
  • Who is your character’s best friend?
  • Who is your character’s enemy?
  • What kind of person gets on your character’s nerves?
  • What kind of romantic attachments will your character have?
  • Has your character a secret -( secrets are great material for fiction, as are fears and phobias)
  • What has your character done that s/he doesn’t want others to find out about
  • Is there something shameful in the past?
  • Is there some aspect of their personality they don’t like?
  • Are they pretending to be someone they’re not?

Brainstorm and develop new characters from the answers.  

Making Character Profiles

There are many character profile questionnaires available online – a simple Google search will spoil you for choice. There is one that Proust used produced by Gotham Writers, USA.

All of the available questionnaires have one aim –  to ensure your know your character as well as you know yourself!

Building a profile will make it easier for you to write the character and know how they will react in whatever situation you put them in. No second-guessing or unbelievable shocks for the reader.

The last thing you want is disappointed readers saying, ‘he/she wouldn’t do that’ or ‘he/she wouldn’t go there’

You have invited readers into your character’s world and they will care deeply about your character and what happens to them.

Writing a mystery novel is a challenge to your talent and your fortitude. To decide on a crime, to work out the solution, to delineate your characters and create their backgrounds take equal amounts of inspiration and concentration. Putting all these elements together to produce a page-turner takes time and more time… you will find that one hour at the typewriter is comparable to a week spent building a stretch of highway across the Arctic.

In the classical form, white-collar crimes, kidnappings, heists etc., are often used as subordinate crimes leading to murder, or as motives for murder. As the primary crime… not nearly as dramatic… A murderer has more to lose than… an embezzler. The stakes are higher, the criminal… more desperate… the drama more tense.

In mysteries, the cause is desperation and the effect is disaster… the writer has to direct all… attention to the facts and impressions that deal directly with the crime and its solution.

  • Cause – the reason for the story, the crime – is the idea for the book.
  • Effect – how the story develops – is the plot… forming the backbone of the book.
  • The plot becomes alive – turns into a story – when you introduce the characters who cause the events, and, in turn, are affected by them.
    … you need a structure. This means setting up your priorities – which elements are primary, and which are secondary in importance.

To begin with, then, you need six elements: three main characters, a crime, a motive and a solution. Now set the scene…

Barbara Norville

Your Turn To Write

Here are some ideas/characters for you to create a story:

Character is

  • a professional dog-walker.
  • a homeless person.
  • a deaf person
  • a contestant on a reality TV show
  • an imposter

What is something your main character wants?

  • to buy a cottage by the sea
  • to romance a neighbour.
  • to reunite with a partner
  • to break the family curse
  • to be a vet

What does your character have to do to get what he/she wants?
Why is there a sense of urgency?

What are three problems/obstacles the character must overcome?
How will they do it?

What will happen?


  • Possible Ending 1 (if your character gets what he/she wants):
  • Possible Ending 2 (if your character doesn’t get what he/she wants)

Here is a short story under 900 words,  I wrote in the form of a monologue after being given the picture of a woman sitting reading as a prompt funguys a short monologue

Happy Writing

Stories Are Everywhere But Being Original Is Another Story!


Day Three & Another Post From Me!

Images as Writing Prompts

I often use pictures, photographs, paintings and even postcards to stimulate the imagination of students and give them a visual experience to prompt a story or poem.

It may be a cliche but a picture can be worth (or stimulate) a thousand words. The best photographers not only show people, other subjects, and environments that are fresh and unfamiliar, but they reveal the familiar from a new point of view depending on where the camera is focused.

So too with painters, an artist’s eye trained and sensitive like the photographer’s. Unusual angles, specific details, particular highlights… the visual prompt sets off trains of thought and feelings and can be a powerful starting point for all forms of writing.

The example is a tool to use and sometimes it’s helpful to go round the table and discuss initial impressions and responses, sometimes I suggest a particular genre, and may even give the choice of a first or last line.

There are always a variety of ways of creating a context to encourage writing.

Below is one of my favourite images because I love mysteries.

(I’m also a self-confessed devotee of British crime drama and in 2017 was thrilled to stand outside the house of Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez in Shetland!)

I first used this prompt a decade ago, I think it came from the Writers Digest – apologies if I’m mistaken.

Look at the picture and think of possible ideas for a story.

Look beyond the obvious – this could be the beginning or the end of a tale/adventure.

  • It could be a woman or a man’s feet.
  • The car may be hired or stolen – it may not even be involved.
  • Is this death/injury by accident or design?
  • Is the car stopping to help or is it the weapon?
  • Is/are the documents stolen and/or valuable?
  • Could the paper be lecture notes, a will, a shopping list, a contract, top-secret plans?
  • Perhaps the papers belong to a bystander.  Are they important or unimportant?
  • Where is the story set – will you make it a period piece, modern-day, pick a particular country?
  • Will you take the idea and not too much detail and apply it to a personal experience?

Your Interpretation and Your Story – Have fun

Your voice is how you write, the way you handle language, your style—if you have one. Do I? I write like I think. I like spontaneity. I push and pull, change speed and rhythm, balance short and long sentences. I compare it to jazz riffs and drum rolls. I’m economical with words, but I won’t interrupt a nice solo. I never have to think about this. It’s me… I’ve known excellent writers who don’t have a recognizable voice but have earned awards and attracted readers through their work. Your voice, ultimately, will be what comes out of you. And you’re entitled to it. But how you use it will also depend upon the audience at which it’s aimed and/or the market to which it’s sold.”

Art Spikol

If you can’t get too enthused about this image you might like to practise your sentence structures and powers of observation by:

  • writing a simple description of the scene, making sure you include the important details
  • writing your opinion of what you see and your feelings about the scene
  • writing a poem describing the feelings of onlookers or the person lying on the road
  • writing what an imaginary visitor might think or how they’d act coming across the scene
  • writing a list of how many other characters could be in a story about this scene

I guarantee if you do all of the above, you will be hooked and a story – maybe even a novel – will be in the making!

All these different approaches should result in an interesting piece of writing but start by looking carefully at the image and using sharp observation skills with a hefty dose of imagination.

Here is my effort – I called it Tripped Up  short story 581 words

I love double meanings, writing in layers and short stories with a twist.  I was aiming for under 600 words and after writing the story in class along with my students, I edited at home following my mantra:

  • Revisit and polish what you wrote in class – did you pick up ideas/phrases/different viewpoint from listening to other’s read their work? What can you add to your piece?

If you are uninspired or disinterested in this photo prompt just go to Google images and type in a subject or event you care about and go through a similar process until an idea for a story or poem bubbles to the surface.

Happy Writing

Please share your work – we all learn from each other!