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Find the action, find the story

This entry is part 33 of 43 in the series Friday Sprints

 Try a fast writing exercise

Can’t get the creative juices flowing? Story inspiration can be found anywhere even in a work of art like a painting. Don’t wait for the muse to come to you, find a source of creative inspiration and start writing. For the next five minutes, use the painting featured below as a pathway to story and do a five minute sprint. Ready?

Gather the writing tools

Kitchen Timer

Writing sprints don’t require much in the way of preparation or tools. A pen, a pencil, a notebook or even a piece of paper will do. A timer is helpful. I use the oven timer but any type will do. Set it for 5 minutes.

Find inspiration

This week’s inspiration is drawn from the world of art. The painting depicts children at the beach. They’re in action. Whenever there’s action, story is nearby.

Do the visual prompt exercise

Take a few seconds to take in the overall image. Then move into the details. Think of the five senses. Now, start the timer. It’s time to write.

Don’t edit. Don’t stop writing. Hold the idea of a beginning, middle and end. (You’ll find the after-writing process below.)

David and Emily from David Copperfield art by Frank Reynolds


Finished? Now it’s time to read what you wrote but don’t change anything.

  1. Is there one word that best describes your first impression of what you wrote.
  2. Why?
  3. Is there a sense of a story?
  4. Is there a beginning, middle, and an end?
  5. Is this something you want to continue working with?

At this point you can reset the timer and continue writing. Twenty minutes is a good time frame. Or you can stop now and move on to your regular work.

Share your experience in the comment section below. Don’t forget to come back next week for another writing prompt.

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Series NavigationEvery photo has a storyEvery story has a secret