Many writers—Ray Bradbury and Brad Zellar, to name a few—have made a practice of launching the next story from a single photo. Zellar explains the kick he gets from viewing pictures and trying to animate them with words.
“From an early age I used to write stories based on photographs. I love that photos represent so many possible realities, and they’re sort of a laboratory for exploring points of view. You have the people in the pictures, obviously, each of them a different voice with a different version of whatever story is being told, you have the people outside the frame or lurking in the peripheries, and then, of course, you have the photographer.
“I look at photos and hear voices. I imagine all the other pictures and moments from the same roll of film. I make forensic inventories of every piece of information I can glean from a photograph, and a list of questions the photo poses for me.”
When looking for story ideas, have you ever considered combing through pictures for inspiration? Visit The Gallery and give it a shot.