Fiction Writing is a Jugsaw Puzzle

Writing fiction is like doing a jigsaw puzzle. You fit the outside pieces first, so you have a framework to fill in (your story premise and theme), then you start placing pieces in to build the picture (scenes, characters, events). … Continue reading

The New Baby

Here’s a poignant portrait of grandson Augustus Reid Arnold from the camera of  Grandpa (and marvelous sci-fi writer) Mark Arnold. He snapped this masterful portrait of the parents and siblings holding their new addition to the family. (Check out Mark’s … Continue reading

Winter World

A simple image this time, one of stark, monochromatic beauty from www.creativethorp.com. But oh, what a world of stories, characters and/or settings you can find here. It’s the otherwoldly starkness of this image that appeals to my imagination. I can … Continue reading

Purple Heels

Writer Anna Unkovich (www.annaunkovich.com) sent me this fabulous photo of a pair of purple shoes. Not only is the photo great for inspiring stories, but the shoes are also my favorite color. No way I could fail to include them … Continue reading

The Child In The Pool

Here’s a photo I discovered when I was roaming the net and came across www.orangecountyinjuryattorneyblog.com. It’s an effective visual to stress safety for backyard pools, but it’s also a great shot that suggests multiple story ideas. What is actually happening … Continue reading

Using Symbols in Fiction Writing

At the morning session of my “What If? Writing Group” today, we got into an interesting discussion about symbols and the role they play in our stories. One of the students questioned the need for symbols at all, citing that … Continue reading

Nighttime Cemetery

Here’s a great photo I found on www.cosmicsociety.com.  This one should really get your noir juices flowing. Even if you don’t normally write horror, sci-fi or noir, give this one a try. Stepping outside your comfort zone once in a … Continue reading

Piscene Food Play

Here’s a photo from Roland Portillo of Cambria, California. He’s an extremely talented photographer I located through a friend from church, Midge Lenoue. She works in a dentist’s office and he’s a patient whose talent she admires. She put us … Continue reading

The Shrouded Boat

Here’s a picture that I snapped of “The Rock” in Morro Bay, California, a huge rounded mountain of stone that juts up out of the ocean just off the shore. I thought it would be interesting to view this amazing … Continue reading

Firefighting Story

It’s not hard to imagine the story in this photo, taken by Aaron Kondziela at a night-time fire in Buffalo, New York (www.aaronkondziela.com). This photo speaks for itself. The image contains pathos, fear and urgency. For starters, who are the … Continue reading