Sunday, July 8, 2007

Writing to a Snapshot

When you are in a creative rut, sometimes creative inspiration can be as close as the nearest photo album.

In my book, Tapping Creativity, I go into depth about using paintings or photos to get a narrative going. We will touch on that briefly here, then get into advertising, where this technique also works well.

Take a look at the photo on in this post. That is a picture of my daughter taken at a nearby park/beach. If you didn't know that, however, who do you think this child might be? And what is her story? If you are trying to get a narrative off the ground, you might start by asking questions like this:

  • Is this the happy ending of a story?
  • Is this the earliest memory of the child who is now grown up?
  • Is this the dream of a woman regretting an abortion?
  • Is this the first outing of a reunited parent and child?
You can also discern other clues as well. Since this is at a beach, it eliminates a lot of the Plains States and Southwest. Since this child is wearing jeans at the beach, it might be a location where the weather gets cooler, or is in a cooler season.

This type of questioning can be the seed that gets a story growing and be a foolproof way to tap your creativity time and time again.

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