The Child In The Pool

Here’s a photo I discovered when I was roaming the net and came across 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 here? Is this a picture of a drowned child? Maybe the child is merely swimming, practicing her floating technique, or in the midst of doing a buttefly stroke. Is she truly alone, or do adults lurk just outside the range of the lens? Are they watching her, or oblivious to the tragdy about to occur?

Did she enter the pool by herself, or was she helped in? Or thrown in? Maybe she has a snorkel that we cannot see, and is she floating along looking at a pattern on the bottom of the pool. Come to think of it, is this indeed a pool, or is it the breakwater at the edge of the sea against which waves are roiling? Is the pattern on the surface merely disturbed water, or a reflection of what is on the bottom of the pool? Is this a tropical location, or a backyard in Michigan in the summer? Or somewhere else altogether?

If we shift perspective outward and create more distance, is this even a child? It could be an adult seen from high up, and this not a pool at all, but the ocean or a lagoon splashing up against cultivated land. Is the water disturbed from her body hitting the surface, or are these swirls actually mini-whirlpools clustered together? Or a disturbance caused by a creature beneath the water?

Once you start really examining the details, you’ll find it amazing how many directions your story could take.

Susan Tuttle

Comment? Your story ideas from this photo…

On Writing: “When I start a book, I always think it’s patently absurd that I can write one. No one, certainly not me, can write a book 500 pages long. But I know I can write 15 pages, and if I write 15 pages every day, eventually I’ll have 500 of them.”  ~John Saul

About Susan Tuttle

Susan Tuttle is a professional freelance editor, writing instructor and multi-award winning author of 21 books—6 nonfiction on writing (Write It Right), 6 suspense novels and 7 collections of award-winning short stories. She also has stories in both volumes of "Deadlines", the new anthology from the Central Coast Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC), Tales from a Rocky Coast, and the SLO NightWriter anthology. Under the pen name Susan Grace O'Neill, she is the author of the Journey With Jesus series: Lord, Let Me Grow (Parables) vol. 1, and Lord, Let Me Walk (Lent). She is currently working on volume #2 of her Skylark P.I. series (a PI with paranormal abilities), as well as 2 YA fantasy series. And she teaches fiction writing in both the morning and afternoon every Wednesday. Email her if you're interested in joining her class. And follow her on Twitter and FaceBook.