He got up and sat on the edge of the bedstead with his back to the window. “It’s better not to sleep at all,” he decided. There was a cold damp draught from the window, however; without getting up he drew the blanket over him and wrapped himself in it. He was not thinking of anything and did not want to think. But one image rose after another, incoherent scraps of thought without beginning or end passed through his mind. He sank into drowsiness. Perhaps the cold, or the dampness, or the dark, or the wind that howled under the window and tossed the trees roused a sort of persistent craving for the fantastic. He kept dwelling on images of flowers, he fancied a charming flower garden, a bright, warm, almost hot day, a holiday—Trinity day. A fine, sumptuous country cottage in the English taste overgrown with fragrant flowers, with flower beds going round the house; the porch, wreathed in climbers, was surrounded with beds of roses. A light, cool staircase, carpeted with rich rugs, was decorated with rare plants in china pots. He noticed particularly in the windows nosegays of tender, white, heavily fragrant narcissus bending over their bright, green, thick long stalks. He was reluctant to move away from them, but he went up the stairs and came into a large, high drawing-room and again everywhere—at the windows, the doors on to the balcony, and on the balcony itself—were flowers. The floors were strewn with freshly-cut fragrant hay, the windows were open, a fresh, cool, light air came into the room. The birds were chirruping under the window, and in the middle of the room, on a table covered with a white satin shroud, stood a coffin. The coffin was covered with white silk and edged with a thick white frill; wreaths of flowers surrounded it on all sides. Among the flowers lay a girl in a white muslin dress, with her arms crossed and pressed on her bosom, as though carved out of marble. But her loose fair hair was wet; there was a wreath of roses on her head. The stern and already rigid profile of her face looked as though chiselled of marble too, and the smile on her pale lips was full of an immense unchildish misery and sorrowful appeal. Svidrigaïlov knew that girl; there was no holy image, no burning candle beside the coffin; no sound of prayers: the girl had drowned herself. She was only fourteen, but her heart was broken. And she had destroyed herself, crushed by an insult that had appalled and amazed that childish soul, had smirched that angel purity with unmerited disgrace and torn from her a last scream of despair, unheeded and brutally disregarded, on a dark night in the cold and wet while the wind howled

A Year’s Worth of Picture Writing Prompts

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The instructions for these 52 picture writing prompts are simple: write a story combining some element of all three pictures. It can be crazy or funny or wild, but you have to incorporate some element of all three images.

There’s a scientific reason for why three pictures work better than a single image: because creativity comes from firing up neurons that don’t normally crash into each other. For many of these images, the three pictures don’t seem to combine or complement each other in familiar ways. 

That’s the point.

If you stare hard enough, your creativity will find a way to connect these dissimilar dots, and the resulting story will be unlike anything you’ve ever written before. You will have found your way into new material.

Of course, if you want to make it easier, you can simply choose two out of the three images and try to make a story out of those elements.

Remember to treat these images as suggestions and not as commandments. If a bunch of kids are having a pinewood derby competition, you could put a young boy in your story, or a toy car, or a competition. Any of these elements would satisfy the requirements of the picture. Or if there is a truck full of pumpkins, you could set your story during the autumn, or make it a tale of Halloween.

Bookfox Trivia: About 20 of these pictures are my own, taken on my travels throughout South and Central America. The rest have been hunted down on various copyright-free photo sites.

Good luck with these picture writing prompts. I hope they inspire you a great deal.

Creative Writing Topics 42

Creative Writing Topics 33

Creative Writing Topics 29

Creative Writing Techniques 45

Creative Writing Techniques 38

creative writing prompts high school 24

Creative Writing Prompts and Tips 20

creative writing picture prompts 25

Creative Writing Ideas for High Schoolers 44

Creative Writing Ideas 43

Creative Writing Ideas 35

Creative Writing Ideas 30

Creative Writing Ideas 26

Creative Writing for High School 39

Creative Writing Exercises 6th grade 18

Creative Writing Exercises 34

Creative Writing Exercises 10

Creative Writing Exercises 9

Creative Writing Exercises 49

Creative Writing Activities 50

Creative Writing Activities 47

Creative nonfiction writing prompts 36

Creative Writing Activities 27

Creative Writing Activities 37

Creative nonfiction writing prompts 51

Creative Writing Activities 27

Creative Writing Prompt 6

Creative Writing Prompt 7

Creative Writing Prompts 5th grade 17

Creative Writing Prompts and Exercises 5th Grade 16

Creative Writing Prompts 7th Grade 21

Creative Writing Prompts and Exercises 22

 

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10 comments

  1. I love these – thank you!
    Do you have any examples of writing that students did based on the prompts? My students and I are interested in finding out what ideas others have come up with.

  2. Picking 2 out of 3! Sorry, but boo! But, so I’m not a hater, I love the idea. As a young writer myself, it was things like this (and lots of pushing from my Fourth and Fifth grade teachers) that helped me publish a book created by us each elementary year at my old school.

    1. By the way, my old school, it was Leonardo da Vinci’s School for Gifted Learners. I was and always will be the best school I have ever been to.

  3. These are so helpful! I’m trying to make a writers block emergency kit, and these will definitely help! Thank you!