Visual and Auditory Prompts: Extraordinary Inspiration

When facing the blank page, many authors resort to prompts to get both the creativity and words to flow. There are dozens of prompt books available such as Fred White’s The Daily Writer and Sexton Burke’s The Writer’s Lab: A place to experiment with fiction. But nothing helps a writer incarnate better than to experience a visual or auditory prompt.

If you have a favorite artist, do a Google image search and scan what comes up. What draws your eye? What story or character does the painting or pot or sculpture bring to mind? When inspired, free write. The point is not to write the next blockbuster, but rather to make writing fun again, to nurture the inner creative.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Art of Agnes Pelton

Photography of Mary Ellen Mark

 But don’t limit yourself to only visual and photographic arts. Expand out to music and dance.

Orkestre Obsolete

Dueling Cellos (2Cellos)

Hand Jive

Flash Mob Dance & Light Show

And if you write speculative fiction, look at the odder Earth natives.

Where’s The Octopus?

Caterpillar Transformations

And don’t forget these “creatures” made by humankind.

Air Jelly

Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest Wind Sculptures

What story idea came to you? If you have a favorite visual or auditory prompt you would like to share, please add it in the comments. (Note the comments are moderated to avoid spam and trolling.)

Dr. Kathy Kitts, a recently retired geology professor, served as a science team member on the NASA Genesis Discovery Mission. Before that, she directed a planetarium for nine years. She has dozens of non-fiction publications spanning professional papers to textbooks to general interest articles. However, she no longer writes about “what is” but rather “what if.” Her speculative short fiction has appeared in James Gunn’s Ad Astra, Mad Scientist Journal and The Storyteller’s Anthology. Her latest short story collection Getting What You Need is now available on Amazon. Born and raised in the southwest, she is currently living in the high desert of New Mexico.


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