Writing Prompt: Using Imagery for Inspiration

One way to get your brain working if you’re having trouble getting started, is to start by describing something. Find a picture that’s interesting, look out your window, or close your eyes and imagine a vivid memory. You can even imagine a place you’ve never been or that doesn’t really exist. You can pick something as simple as a girl holding out an apple or as complicated as a busy city scene. Whatever your brain needs to get moving.

Once you have your inspiration, use imagery to describe it. And I don’t mean, “she held out a red apple.” I’m talking more about, “The vivid red of the apple glowed in her hand like a warning sign.”

Use mood. Use symbolism. Let the imagery take you somewhere. By comparing the apple to a warning sign, it’s suddenly ominous. There is danger and conflict, and my brain is already wondering what that conflict is and who is in danger from it. I could just as easily compare it to something wonderful and hint at a love story. Whichever direction you choose, if you let the imagery pull you into a story, the characters, plot, and setting will sprout and start to grow.

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