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WWFC: Turning pictures into words

While breaks from school can be a much-needed relief from schoolwork and can allow me to work on writing projects to my heart’s content, the extra time and the leave from routine can also be a source of horrible writer’s block. Sometimes even a single sentence can be enough to cause a rift in the flow of my story, a troublesome and undoubtedly annoying occurrence.

From conversations I’ve had with other writers at RBHS, I know I am certainly not alone. It’s quite easy to become so wrapped up in a single idea that a story can tie itself in knots. Frustrating as this may be, however, there are a few simple tricks that can easily be used to help the words flow smoothly onto paper once again.

Though it may seem counterproductive, taking a break to work on another, shorter project can be a simple and creative way to help you get past writer’s block. Flash fiction pieces or timed writing prompts allow you to make new characters and settings, helping you to think of new ways around your writer’s block or even giving you the inspiration needed to take your project in a completely different direction.

Many prompt-giving resources exist for this exact reason, such as the “Dare Machine” on the NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program website or the random generators on springhole.net that provide you with everything from new items, names, or even entire plots. My favorite of these activities, however, is using photo prompts—that is, photos of random people, locations, or things—to create a story within a set amount of time.

The idea is simple: set a timer for five minutes, pick a photo, and write whatever comes to mind when you see it. Even if it’s silly, roll with the idea or bounce around until the time is up—just keep writing. Try the same exercise with a few different photos in a row, or incorporate multiple photos into the same story in one sitting. There aren’t any restrictions on what you want to write or how you do it, so be inventive with how you use them.

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Photos like the ones above are perfect for incorporating into your own project or for starting their own and can be a fun, creative way to break through your writer’s block. So, next time you find yourself struggling to move forward on your story, try your hand at one of the ideas above. They might just bring you the inspiration you’ve been looking for all along.

[divider top=”no” style=”double” margin=”25″] [box title=” Today’s Excerpt: ” style=”glass” box_color=”#431505″ title_color=”#e7e2da”]

“‘So, Nicole, have you been out driving recently?’ Dad asked, startling me back into reality from my thoughts about my summer personal finance class.

‘No…,’ I admitted sheepishly. ‘I mean, I kind of want to, but at the same time, it just makes me too nervous.’ I had tried driving only a couple of times, mainly with my mother. She had already admitted she didn’t particularly feel comfortable with me behind the wheel and I was not afraid to admit that the feeling was mutual.

‘We just need to get you out on the roads some more. I think you’ll feel more comfortable once you’ve practiced some.’

I nodded. In truth, I wanted to learn to drive—my worries about messing up simply outweighed my desires.

‘You and I could wake up early one morning and head out on the roads,’ he continued. ‘We don’t have to, it’s just a suggestion.’

‘Alright,’ I said. ‘I’ll think about it.’ He nodded, pulling up to the speaker at Starbucks to order. As he spoke, I glanced back at Jessica, shooting her a smile when I noticed her looking up from her game. ‘Ready for horseback riding?’ I whispered.

She nodded, answering my smile with one of her own. Then, catching my eye, began to clap her hands on her thighs to the beat of a canter, slowly picking up speed as she went like a racehorse rounding the final corner in the Kentucky Derby. I laughed, turning back around in my seat. Walnut Slope, here we come, I thought, ready for lessons later that day.”

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By Nicole Schroeder

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