Tell Us a Story!

Susan here, with a bit of a storytelling game today. In my spare time (lol), I teach creative writing to middle and upper school students who enjoy playing with writing prompts based on works of art and coming up with all kinds of stories. So I thought, why not toss it out to the Word Wench readers and let them have a go at it?

Browse through the images below, and imagine the stories that could be happening there – I’ve chosen some that might appeal to readers of historical fiction (if you recognize some of the subjects, play with that or come up with something new). As ideas bubble up, choose an image or two that intrigues you and write a quick story summary in just a couple of sentences.

Imagine character, situation, conflict, and where the story might go. Write your summary as if it was the back cover blurb on a book you might want to read (or write!) — and give it a title if one occurs to you. Have fun!   

 

1. What's the story here? 

Edouard-john-mentha-maid-reading-a-book

 

2.  


Edmund_Blair_Leighton_-_Olivia

 

3. 

The irritating gentleman

4.

Flint  female archers

 

5.

Edmund_Blair_Leighton_-_The_New_Governess

 

6.

800px-leighton-lady_godiva

 

7.

1822 - Portrait of Sir Evan Macgregor we

 

8. 

 

The turret stair

Did these inspire some stories for you?

Share your back cover blurbs with us! 

 

100 thoughts on “Tell Us a Story!”

  1. Number 3. “The man behind her was irritatingly trying to engage her in conversation, but she hardly noticed. Those she loved most were gone. She was lost in her own bleak world.”
    BTW, I too think you always include such interesting pictures in your posts.

    Reply
  2. Number 3. “The man behind her was irritatingly trying to engage her in conversation, but she hardly noticed. Those she loved most were gone. She was lost in her own bleak world.”
    BTW, I too think you always include such interesting pictures in your posts.

    Reply
  3. Number 3. “The man behind her was irritatingly trying to engage her in conversation, but she hardly noticed. Those she loved most were gone. She was lost in her own bleak world.”
    BTW, I too think you always include such interesting pictures in your posts.

    Reply
  4. Number 3. “The man behind her was irritatingly trying to engage her in conversation, but she hardly noticed. Those she loved most were gone. She was lost in her own bleak world.”
    BTW, I too think you always include such interesting pictures in your posts.

    Reply
  5. Number 3. “The man behind her was irritatingly trying to engage her in conversation, but she hardly noticed. Those she loved most were gone. She was lost in her own bleak world.”
    BTW, I too think you always include such interesting pictures in your posts.

    Reply
  6. Ava Brown, amateur naturalist and bird lover, on a lark (pun intended) forges a letter of recommendation and is hired as a maid at the home of Sir Nathaniel Wren, noted man of science. She hopes that access to his collections will finally enable her to determine which came first, the pullum or the ovum.

    Reply
  7. Ava Brown, amateur naturalist and bird lover, on a lark (pun intended) forges a letter of recommendation and is hired as a maid at the home of Sir Nathaniel Wren, noted man of science. She hopes that access to his collections will finally enable her to determine which came first, the pullum or the ovum.

    Reply
  8. Ava Brown, amateur naturalist and bird lover, on a lark (pun intended) forges a letter of recommendation and is hired as a maid at the home of Sir Nathaniel Wren, noted man of science. She hopes that access to his collections will finally enable her to determine which came first, the pullum or the ovum.

    Reply
  9. Ava Brown, amateur naturalist and bird lover, on a lark (pun intended) forges a letter of recommendation and is hired as a maid at the home of Sir Nathaniel Wren, noted man of science. She hopes that access to his collections will finally enable her to determine which came first, the pullum or the ovum.

    Reply
  10. Ava Brown, amateur naturalist and bird lover, on a lark (pun intended) forges a letter of recommendation and is hired as a maid at the home of Sir Nathaniel Wren, noted man of science. She hopes that access to his collections will finally enable her to determine which came first, the pullum or the ovum.

    Reply
  11. I read blog posts everyday of author, Katherine Keenum – Picturing a World. She also encourages the viewer to use paintings to help their imagination more to write stories.
    The first picture: Olivia absorbed every word passing in front of her eyes hoping to memorize enough to impress her employer. If he allowed her to clean his laboratory, she could use it for her own experiments.
    Title: “A Lady of Nature”

    Reply
  12. I read blog posts everyday of author, Katherine Keenum – Picturing a World. She also encourages the viewer to use paintings to help their imagination more to write stories.
    The first picture: Olivia absorbed every word passing in front of her eyes hoping to memorize enough to impress her employer. If he allowed her to clean his laboratory, she could use it for her own experiments.
    Title: “A Lady of Nature”

    Reply
  13. I read blog posts everyday of author, Katherine Keenum – Picturing a World. She also encourages the viewer to use paintings to help their imagination more to write stories.
    The first picture: Olivia absorbed every word passing in front of her eyes hoping to memorize enough to impress her employer. If he allowed her to clean his laboratory, she could use it for her own experiments.
    Title: “A Lady of Nature”

    Reply
  14. I read blog posts everyday of author, Katherine Keenum – Picturing a World. She also encourages the viewer to use paintings to help their imagination more to write stories.
    The first picture: Olivia absorbed every word passing in front of her eyes hoping to memorize enough to impress her employer. If he allowed her to clean his laboratory, she could use it for her own experiments.
    Title: “A Lady of Nature”

    Reply
  15. I read blog posts everyday of author, Katherine Keenum – Picturing a World. She also encourages the viewer to use paintings to help their imagination more to write stories.
    The first picture: Olivia absorbed every word passing in front of her eyes hoping to memorize enough to impress her employer. If he allowed her to clean his laboratory, she could use it for her own experiments.
    Title: “A Lady of Nature”

    Reply
  16. What a fun game! I choose Picture 5…
    School for Subterfuge
    Kate’s aunt left her a ladies’ seminary. But London’s richest man wants to close it. Now Kate must save the only home she’s ever known, with just a few pennies and a daring plan….

    Reply
  17. What a fun game! I choose Picture 5…
    School for Subterfuge
    Kate’s aunt left her a ladies’ seminary. But London’s richest man wants to close it. Now Kate must save the only home she’s ever known, with just a few pennies and a daring plan….

    Reply
  18. What a fun game! I choose Picture 5…
    School for Subterfuge
    Kate’s aunt left her a ladies’ seminary. But London’s richest man wants to close it. Now Kate must save the only home she’s ever known, with just a few pennies and a daring plan….

    Reply
  19. What a fun game! I choose Picture 5…
    School for Subterfuge
    Kate’s aunt left her a ladies’ seminary. But London’s richest man wants to close it. Now Kate must save the only home she’s ever known, with just a few pennies and a daring plan….

    Reply
  20. What a fun game! I choose Picture 5…
    School for Subterfuge
    Kate’s aunt left her a ladies’ seminary. But London’s richest man wants to close it. Now Kate must save the only home she’s ever known, with just a few pennies and a daring plan….

    Reply
  21. Picture 2 – For Queen and Country
    Chosen for her remarkable resemblance to Scotland’s returning queen, Catriona was proud to act as a lure to draw the English away from the true landing spot. But when she’s captured by the Scotsman who spurned her for her loyalty to Mary, can she convince him that she’s more than a spy – and that love is more powerful than all?

    Reply
  22. Picture 2 – For Queen and Country
    Chosen for her remarkable resemblance to Scotland’s returning queen, Catriona was proud to act as a lure to draw the English away from the true landing spot. But when she’s captured by the Scotsman who spurned her for her loyalty to Mary, can she convince him that she’s more than a spy – and that love is more powerful than all?

    Reply
  23. Picture 2 – For Queen and Country
    Chosen for her remarkable resemblance to Scotland’s returning queen, Catriona was proud to act as a lure to draw the English away from the true landing spot. But when she’s captured by the Scotsman who spurned her for her loyalty to Mary, can she convince him that she’s more than a spy – and that love is more powerful than all?

    Reply
  24. Picture 2 – For Queen and Country
    Chosen for her remarkable resemblance to Scotland’s returning queen, Catriona was proud to act as a lure to draw the English away from the true landing spot. But when she’s captured by the Scotsman who spurned her for her loyalty to Mary, can she convince him that she’s more than a spy – and that love is more powerful than all?

    Reply
  25. Picture 2 – For Queen and Country
    Chosen for her remarkable resemblance to Scotland’s returning queen, Catriona was proud to act as a lure to draw the English away from the true landing spot. But when she’s captured by the Scotsman who spurned her for her loyalty to Mary, can she convince him that she’s more than a spy – and that love is more powerful than all?

    Reply
  26. 1. Read the inside story of the late housekeeper, Mrs Goodbuy. Read how she was carried off by a mis-matched posse of birds (who she thought were inanimate objects). All because she no longer scattered birdseed in the garden. She never realized that once the birds got that birdseed they needed that birdseed.
    2. The autobiography of the widow of the late King of Itoldusew. Get the full story of how she admits pushing the King off his high horse. After all, she had warned him often that she would only accept so many complaints about her coffee. Unflinchingly a complete confession.
    3. Here it is. The inside story of a young woman who infiltrated the Navy Seal Team 7. After her train ride to the base, she disguised herself and passed for a recruit. She is looking forward to going back and finding the masher who assaulted her on the train and introducing him to hand to hand combat.
    6. Read it now, the Erma Bombeck of the 12th century shares her story of raising a family in a drafty stone castle. Learn how to pack wooly underwear where the moths can’t get it. Learn how to wash those lovely long gowns when you don’t live near a river with the right sized rocks. She will share her secrets on what it really takes to polish those bright and shiny armors after a blood bath.
    8. A true confession of a young woman who recognized insincerity when she met it. She explains that she knew he was only interested in her fabric softener. All that sniffing gave him away. Well, it was the fabric softener combined with the Power Ball ticket she had that won all that money.

    Reply
  27. 1. Read the inside story of the late housekeeper, Mrs Goodbuy. Read how she was carried off by a mis-matched posse of birds (who she thought were inanimate objects). All because she no longer scattered birdseed in the garden. She never realized that once the birds got that birdseed they needed that birdseed.
    2. The autobiography of the widow of the late King of Itoldusew. Get the full story of how she admits pushing the King off his high horse. After all, she had warned him often that she would only accept so many complaints about her coffee. Unflinchingly a complete confession.
    3. Here it is. The inside story of a young woman who infiltrated the Navy Seal Team 7. After her train ride to the base, she disguised herself and passed for a recruit. She is looking forward to going back and finding the masher who assaulted her on the train and introducing him to hand to hand combat.
    6. Read it now, the Erma Bombeck of the 12th century shares her story of raising a family in a drafty stone castle. Learn how to pack wooly underwear where the moths can’t get it. Learn how to wash those lovely long gowns when you don’t live near a river with the right sized rocks. She will share her secrets on what it really takes to polish those bright and shiny armors after a blood bath.
    8. A true confession of a young woman who recognized insincerity when she met it. She explains that she knew he was only interested in her fabric softener. All that sniffing gave him away. Well, it was the fabric softener combined with the Power Ball ticket she had that won all that money.

    Reply
  28. 1. Read the inside story of the late housekeeper, Mrs Goodbuy. Read how she was carried off by a mis-matched posse of birds (who she thought were inanimate objects). All because she no longer scattered birdseed in the garden. She never realized that once the birds got that birdseed they needed that birdseed.
    2. The autobiography of the widow of the late King of Itoldusew. Get the full story of how she admits pushing the King off his high horse. After all, she had warned him often that she would only accept so many complaints about her coffee. Unflinchingly a complete confession.
    3. Here it is. The inside story of a young woman who infiltrated the Navy Seal Team 7. After her train ride to the base, she disguised herself and passed for a recruit. She is looking forward to going back and finding the masher who assaulted her on the train and introducing him to hand to hand combat.
    6. Read it now, the Erma Bombeck of the 12th century shares her story of raising a family in a drafty stone castle. Learn how to pack wooly underwear where the moths can’t get it. Learn how to wash those lovely long gowns when you don’t live near a river with the right sized rocks. She will share her secrets on what it really takes to polish those bright and shiny armors after a blood bath.
    8. A true confession of a young woman who recognized insincerity when she met it. She explains that she knew he was only interested in her fabric softener. All that sniffing gave him away. Well, it was the fabric softener combined with the Power Ball ticket she had that won all that money.

    Reply
  29. 1. Read the inside story of the late housekeeper, Mrs Goodbuy. Read how she was carried off by a mis-matched posse of birds (who she thought were inanimate objects). All because she no longer scattered birdseed in the garden. She never realized that once the birds got that birdseed they needed that birdseed.
    2. The autobiography of the widow of the late King of Itoldusew. Get the full story of how she admits pushing the King off his high horse. After all, she had warned him often that she would only accept so many complaints about her coffee. Unflinchingly a complete confession.
    3. Here it is. The inside story of a young woman who infiltrated the Navy Seal Team 7. After her train ride to the base, she disguised herself and passed for a recruit. She is looking forward to going back and finding the masher who assaulted her on the train and introducing him to hand to hand combat.
    6. Read it now, the Erma Bombeck of the 12th century shares her story of raising a family in a drafty stone castle. Learn how to pack wooly underwear where the moths can’t get it. Learn how to wash those lovely long gowns when you don’t live near a river with the right sized rocks. She will share her secrets on what it really takes to polish those bright and shiny armors after a blood bath.
    8. A true confession of a young woman who recognized insincerity when she met it. She explains that she knew he was only interested in her fabric softener. All that sniffing gave him away. Well, it was the fabric softener combined with the Power Ball ticket she had that won all that money.

    Reply
  30. 1. Read the inside story of the late housekeeper, Mrs Goodbuy. Read how she was carried off by a mis-matched posse of birds (who she thought were inanimate objects). All because she no longer scattered birdseed in the garden. She never realized that once the birds got that birdseed they needed that birdseed.
    2. The autobiography of the widow of the late King of Itoldusew. Get the full story of how she admits pushing the King off his high horse. After all, she had warned him often that she would only accept so many complaints about her coffee. Unflinchingly a complete confession.
    3. Here it is. The inside story of a young woman who infiltrated the Navy Seal Team 7. After her train ride to the base, she disguised herself and passed for a recruit. She is looking forward to going back and finding the masher who assaulted her on the train and introducing him to hand to hand combat.
    6. Read it now, the Erma Bombeck of the 12th century shares her story of raising a family in a drafty stone castle. Learn how to pack wooly underwear where the moths can’t get it. Learn how to wash those lovely long gowns when you don’t live near a river with the right sized rocks. She will share her secrets on what it really takes to polish those bright and shiny armors after a blood bath.
    8. A true confession of a young woman who recognized insincerity when she met it. She explains that she knew he was only interested in her fabric softener. All that sniffing gave him away. Well, it was the fabric softener combined with the Power Ball ticket she had that won all that money.

    Reply
  31. 1. Each day as she cleans the library, the young maid reads the esoteric books belonging to the reclusive wizard. With her employment at stake when he suddenly disappears, the girl becomes determined to find out what happened to him, following the clues left by the books he had been consulting. What could possibly go wrong?
    3. Sent off on the train to live with her father’s relatives, after the deaths of both her parents, the young girl spyed a gold coin on the ground in the station, and picked it up. Now, in the train car, there was a very short, redhaired, red bearded Irishman, standing on the seat behind her, leaning over her seat and harrassing her. How could she get rid of him? What had she ever done to desrve this?

    Reply
  32. 1. Each day as she cleans the library, the young maid reads the esoteric books belonging to the reclusive wizard. With her employment at stake when he suddenly disappears, the girl becomes determined to find out what happened to him, following the clues left by the books he had been consulting. What could possibly go wrong?
    3. Sent off on the train to live with her father’s relatives, after the deaths of both her parents, the young girl spyed a gold coin on the ground in the station, and picked it up. Now, in the train car, there was a very short, redhaired, red bearded Irishman, standing on the seat behind her, leaning over her seat and harrassing her. How could she get rid of him? What had she ever done to desrve this?

    Reply
  33. 1. Each day as she cleans the library, the young maid reads the esoteric books belonging to the reclusive wizard. With her employment at stake when he suddenly disappears, the girl becomes determined to find out what happened to him, following the clues left by the books he had been consulting. What could possibly go wrong?
    3. Sent off on the train to live with her father’s relatives, after the deaths of both her parents, the young girl spyed a gold coin on the ground in the station, and picked it up. Now, in the train car, there was a very short, redhaired, red bearded Irishman, standing on the seat behind her, leaning over her seat and harrassing her. How could she get rid of him? What had she ever done to desrve this?

    Reply
  34. 1. Each day as she cleans the library, the young maid reads the esoteric books belonging to the reclusive wizard. With her employment at stake when he suddenly disappears, the girl becomes determined to find out what happened to him, following the clues left by the books he had been consulting. What could possibly go wrong?
    3. Sent off on the train to live with her father’s relatives, after the deaths of both her parents, the young girl spyed a gold coin on the ground in the station, and picked it up. Now, in the train car, there was a very short, redhaired, red bearded Irishman, standing on the seat behind her, leaning over her seat and harrassing her. How could she get rid of him? What had she ever done to desrve this?

    Reply
  35. 1. Each day as she cleans the library, the young maid reads the esoteric books belonging to the reclusive wizard. With her employment at stake when he suddenly disappears, the girl becomes determined to find out what happened to him, following the clues left by the books he had been consulting. What could possibly go wrong?
    3. Sent off on the train to live with her father’s relatives, after the deaths of both her parents, the young girl spyed a gold coin on the ground in the station, and picked it up. Now, in the train car, there was a very short, redhaired, red bearded Irishman, standing on the seat behind her, leaning over her seat and harrassing her. How could she get rid of him? What had she ever done to desrve this?

    Reply
  36. #6 Genevieve after the Trial. Desolate after being found guilty when it was really her evil twin sister. Even the dog has abandoned her.
    That is a clever way of prompting a story. I enjoyed everyone’s story twists and the pictures.

    Reply
  37. #6 Genevieve after the Trial. Desolate after being found guilty when it was really her evil twin sister. Even the dog has abandoned her.
    That is a clever way of prompting a story. I enjoyed everyone’s story twists and the pictures.

    Reply
  38. #6 Genevieve after the Trial. Desolate after being found guilty when it was really her evil twin sister. Even the dog has abandoned her.
    That is a clever way of prompting a story. I enjoyed everyone’s story twists and the pictures.

    Reply
  39. #6 Genevieve after the Trial. Desolate after being found guilty when it was really her evil twin sister. Even the dog has abandoned her.
    That is a clever way of prompting a story. I enjoyed everyone’s story twists and the pictures.

    Reply
  40. #6 Genevieve after the Trial. Desolate after being found guilty when it was really her evil twin sister. Even the dog has abandoned her.
    That is a clever way of prompting a story. I enjoyed everyone’s story twists and the pictures.

    Reply
  41. Thank you all, these stories sketches are such fun! (I finally got into Typepad to reply, it was being very stubborn for some reason.) I’d love to read some of these stories!

    Reply
  42. Thank you all, these stories sketches are such fun! (I finally got into Typepad to reply, it was being very stubborn for some reason.) I’d love to read some of these stories!

    Reply
  43. Thank you all, these stories sketches are such fun! (I finally got into Typepad to reply, it was being very stubborn for some reason.) I’d love to read some of these stories!

    Reply
  44. Thank you all, these stories sketches are such fun! (I finally got into Typepad to reply, it was being very stubborn for some reason.) I’d love to read some of these stories!

    Reply
  45. Thank you all, these stories sketches are such fun! (I finally got into Typepad to reply, it was being very stubborn for some reason.) I’d love to read some of these stories!

    Reply

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