There are so many books of writing prompts available for sale already that we couldn’t bear to just write another list, so we have approached this prompt list in a new way. We have images and we ask you to write about them. We don’t expect a bunch of independent thinkers to goose-step to our ideas, so just write what you want to write and know that we know how you are and we would expect no less than a daily mutiny or two.
<pstyle=”text–align: left;”><strong><span style=”color: #000000;”>Creative Writing Prompts Based on Images
by Karlane Kraner and Jeanne Green
There are so many books of writing prompts available for sale already that we couldn’t bear to just write another list, so we have approached this prompt list in a new way. We have images and we ask you to write about them. We don’t expect a bunch of independent thinkers to goose-step to our ideas, so just write what you want to write and know that we know how you are and we would expect no less than a daily mutiny or two. Remember that this is for fun and creativity enhancement, so try to enjoy yourself. If these prompts don’t suit you, we have other such lists posted on this website. Click here for more choices.
Seshat is the Egyptian Goddess of Writing, or Scribe of the Gods.
This stone carving is a representation of the Egyptian Goddess Seshat, goddess of writing, or “scribe of the Gods.” Note she holds a stylus in her hand. Given her privileged status, what issues troubled Seshat? What did she think about lying in bed before sleep?
2. Choose any or all of the characters represented above and write an epic tale. You make want to name the asses after your in-laws, although we would never do so. If you don’t want to write an epic tale, not even for your children, nieces and nephews, or even just some lonely kids in the neighborhood, then draw your own poster of characters. Send us a copy if you do.
3. There is an old woman about to walk to the end of this dock. What is she doing?
4. Do you know this guy riding the pencil’s end? What does he do in your life? If you had to, how would you, or one of your characters, kill him?
5. There is a guy next door who has this image hanging in front of his dart board in his living room. Why does it hang there?
6. This is an ancient cave painting representing the Ghost Dance. What else is going on in this painting? Why was it painted? Who visits it everyday?
7. We like to call this painting, “always blame a woman,” and we want you to explain in a short story or novella who this woman is and what she is being blamed for. Just forget about who she is really supposed to be (yes, we know). The man in the reddish breeches has framed her for something, and we would like to know what.
8. Is this pornography? Why is the monk behind Big Nuts holding him by the waist? Ignoring the unfortunate caption, what was really going on in this image?
9. There was this man who was too lucky. He went to the pub every evening and he told endless stories about how he was too lucky. What were some of the stories, and why did his luck never make him happy?
10. How is this kitty rise to the rank of Cat General? He holds a secret, too. What is it?
11. What are these men talking about? Do they come to this diner often? Why?
12. How does this painting make you feel? What is the world like where clocks melt? What was the painter trying to communicate?
13. Why does no grass grow in this yard?
Bonus Prompt: Who is unhappier and why?
Click here to buy one of the many books full of prompts from Amazon.
Most people don’t know it, but printers invented the paragraph. Before the printing press (circa 1450), all books were handwritten. The scribes who drew the books embellished them with colorful hand-painted illuminations and wrote in different styles of calligraphy so the reader’s eye was drawn on from one line to the next and everyone was relatively happy with the reading arrangement. However, when Johannes Gutenburg invented movable type, and offset printing became possible, there were no longer any variations in the typeface and every letter in a word looked exactly the same each time it was printed. The absence of the scribes’ paintings and numerous unique calligraphic handwriting style made the text harder to read. Printed writing before the paragraph and other conventions were invented looked so:
With no change in font style (calligraphy letter style) nor scribes’ illuminations, text was just printed in blocks like the one above. Finally, printers began to decorate their pages with signs and symbols like #, &, and *, many of which are still in use. One symbol, the pilkrow, or what we know as the paragraph symbol, was often strewn throughout these passages to break up the solid blocks of type:
Since it was also possible for printers to indent the text, it eventually became the custom to indent where the paragraph sign was, and the modern day paragraph, that so vexes writers unto today, was born. Writers soon began using the paragraph spacing convention, so handy and already present in the text, to introduce new subjects.
Nowadays, we don’t always indent because we might be using block style, so we signal the paragraph’s end with a space between paragraphs which means the same thing as an indention does. It wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that American rhetoricians developed the idea of the topic sentence, and with that idea, the paragraph was fully realized as a formal writing unit. Next scholars developed the idea of the introductory, developmental, transitional, dialogue, concluding, and narrative paragraphs as these types of paragraphs also were developed into fully functional units of composition. Despite all of this parsing and renaming, paragraphs are defined simply as a group of sentences used to develop one main idea.
The introductory, transitional, developmental, and summary or conclusion paragraphs are the workhorses of the standard essay. Paragraphs may be developed by example, contrast, comparison, analogy, statistics, definition, and through analysis of structure, function, process, classification, and cause/effect. All well–written paragraphs, the only kind anyone wants really, must have unity, order, coherence, completeness, and appropriate style. Perfectly good paragraphs are both long and longer. The best guideline for getting the length right in your paragraphs is that each paragraph should contain exactly as many sentences and words as you needed to clearly express your ideas, and not one word longer or shorter.
To successfully write a well-developed paragraph, begin with a topic sentence. The topic sentence is like the road map of the paragraph because it names or implies the direction the paragraph will take and the information it will contain. Take as long as necessary to write a good topic sentence.
After your topic sentence is written, use this multi-use, generic paragraph template suitable for all paragraph writing. Note that the number of sentences and length of the paragraph are optional. Deeper subjects usually require more developing sentences, more supporting detail and evidence, and this results in longer paragraphs. Unless you are told otherwise, don’t worry about length. Fill your writing with necessary appropriately organized content. Complete the following paragraph writing exercise by replacing the sentences written in black ink with sentences of your own that follow the directions printed in green ink.
Topic sentence naming or implying the subtopics in the paragraph’s content: I love my husband because he catches fish, cooks fish, and cleans the kitchen. 2.Transitional sentence that leads in to the first developing/supporting sentence or a sentence that simply states the first subtopic of catching fish: My husband catches fish at the nearby lake. 3. One or two sentences that further develop or support the topic sentence’s point/subtopic: The fish my husband catches are large and fresh. 4. Another one or two optional sentences that develop or support the subtopic with detail or evidence: My husband’s fish are crappie or bass most of the time with an occasional catfish. 5. An optional transitional sentence that leads the reader from one subtopic to the next: After catching the fish, my husband cleans them. 6. Transitional sentence that leads in to the second developing/supporting sentence or that simply states the second subtopic of cooking fish: My husband knows how to clean fresh fish because he is a great cook. 7. One or two sentences that further develop or support the topic sentence’s next point/subtopic: He has been cleaning and cooking food since the turn of the century. 8. Another one or two optional sentences that develop or support the subtopic with detail or evidence: My husband’s mother was a restaurant cook who taught him about cooking fish. 9. An optional transitional sentence that leads the reader from one subtopic to the next: In addition to cooking fish, my husband is also a diligent housekeeper in his spare time. 10. Transitional sentence that leads in to the third developing/supporting sentence or that simply states the third subtopic of cleaning the kitchen: After we eat the fresh fish he cleans and cooks for us, he also cleans the kitchen like he was Mr. Clean himself. 11. One or two sentences that further develop or support the topic sentence’s points/subtopics: He washes all the dishes. He sweeps the kitchen floor and buses the dining table after dinner. 12. Another one or two optional sentences that develop or support the subtopic with detail or evidence: He also carries the fish guts down to the holler and dumps them so our yard doesn’t stink or attract night creatures. 13. An optional transitional sentence that leads the reader into the concluding sentence: My husband has many practical housekeeping skills that he learned from his mother. 14. A beautiful concluding sentence that both reminds and summarizes the point of this paragraph, and in the case of essay writing, that prepares the reader for the next paragraph: I will always love my husband for many reasons, not the least of which are the care he gives me when he works around the house to make our lives better.
Please note that the paragraphing in novels and other pieces of writing demonstrates the range of paragraph length. Be mindful of how much you may learn just looking at books. When you are casting about for information on how to do any kind of writing, nothing has more answers than a book or an article written about a topic similar to your topic. You can use other people’s writing as a model to pattern our own work. There is nothing wrong with looking at other people’s examples to get ideas of your own. It is actually a time-honored practice. However, you may not copy anything into your own writing unless you give credit to the author, and that is another article entirely.
Here is an exercise more appropriate for beginning learners.
Paragraph writing prompts
My favorite activity
The best day of my life was when. . . .
The worst day of my life was when I. . . .
I am sure glad I helped out when. . . .
What I am proudest of is my. . . .
For fun, I like to. . . .
As always, Beloved Readers, live long and prosper.