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An Image is Worth a Thousand Tales
How the image I really wanted to use for this blog post turned into a bunch of story ideas.
This is part of my “Art of Noticing” series, in which I learn, find, or discover the things around me that usually go unnoticed and turn them into an endless source of creative inspiration.
Today, I had the above blog post image but no Noticing to go with it. So I did a meta thing and used the image itself as a source of Noticing.
Here was my dilemma: I’d gotten the image above and I really liked it, but I hadn’t noticed anything to go with it. How was I supposed to use the image if I didn’t have the raw material (a Noticing) I needed to write a post that used it?
But hey. I’ve written a story based on an image before: Axis of Aaron, which started with only the book cover and no plot at all. So why should I let this image go to waste? I could use it for ideas, too.
The woman. The bottles. A vaguely dark feel, which to me suggested secrecy and illicitness. There were ideas all over the place.
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Here are a few stories I decided I could pull from that single image, proving that ideas are everywhere:
(And feel free to steal these, by the way. I’m not going to use them.)
A Sci-Fi Thriller About Smugglers
In a dystopian future where water is the most precious commodity (like Dune, right? Homage isn’t the same as copying), a jaded smuggler transports clean water for the elite. But when she stumbles on a saboteur’s plan to poison all remaining water sources, she must decide whether to keep serving the masses, or instead serve the thirsty masses.
An Urban Fantasy About a Sorceress
A modern-day apothecary (or at least an apothecary in a world that FEELS like our modern day, because she’s not exactly wearing wizarding robes) is a maker of elixirs. One day, a desperate man comes to her wanting a potion to recall repressed memories. But of course, revisiting what’s been buried comes with unforeseen consequences.
Jazz-Age Detective Noir
In the backdrop of the roaring twenties, a woman runs a speakeasy hidden behind the façade of a soda shop. But when a detective starts snooping around, she finds herself in a game of cat and mouse rooted in political corruption … with more at stake than just her business.
As artists and writers, we often search far and wide for inspiration … but sometimes, finding it is as simple as looking at an image and seeing what comes. Every picture holds a story. Or a bunch of them.
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