Stairs of Bloodred

The stairs might be reminiscent of blood, but this sweet little photo has great potential for stories. Anna Unkovich sent it to me from the vast collection she’s snapped on her many travels. (

Romance comes to my mind when I look at this photograph. I imagine two lovers meeting at the top in the dark of night to plan their elopement. They come from two different classes and have been forbidden to speak to each other. But somehow they have managed to fall in love, and want only to live together in peace. Will this trysting place bcome their stairway to heaven, or will it lead them down into despair?

Or I see an old man leaning on the railing, looking down into the still water below, remembering his life. The revolution, the betrayal, the deaths of his youth. The bittersweet loves of his middle years. The lonely isloation of old age. Where will this staircase lead him?

Who will you place on this staircase? What of this scene will be of significance? The still water? The surrounding trees? The red color of the stairs themselves? Do you—or do your characters—see these steps as leading them up to something (or out of something) or down into something?

Where will these stairs lead your story?

Susan Tuttle

 Comments?  Your ideas from this photo…


Definition: (N. or Adj. Lat. hieraticus, priest, holy) of or relating to priests; of or relating to styles of art that adhere to fixed types or methods; highly restrained and formal.
Synonyms: priestly, sacerdotal
Usage: The hieratic sculptures, though thought-provoking, left the viewers curiously unmoved.

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.