We’ve had a few questions about whether the stories need to be set in an historic context. The answer is, only if you want it to be. Any time, and any genre goes – just connect with the image in some way. I had a bit of a play with this photo at Dip Crossing …
‘I know it’s full on fancy dress, but don’t you think hiring a horse and sulky is going a bit far?’
‘I’d heard the rumours that they were aliens – been here a hundred years. There’s evidence apparently.’
‘Did they really think the oversized images adorning the toilets would stop their night time sport? He shook the can and scrawled an F. The U dribbled black onto the white dresses. See what the tourists make of that.’
‘Not much longer, and they could return to their own time. Kylie couldn’t wait to move and breath freely once more without the constant jabs of an ill fitted corset.’
‘The Dip road bridge held none of the romance of the wooden remnants beside it that mark the old crossing for sulkies.’
‘Lady Penelope looked disdainfully at the puddle that surrounded them and waved her communication device around to get a signal. They’d never make it to the Coolangatta steam train now.’Â
‘The librarian peered at the image on the screen. She zoomed in on rump of the cow to identify the brand. Seemed the thievery had a long history. ‘
‘The war had just ended. Merle and Edith were on their way to the big do at the Wallaby. Damned horse, it’d always been bloody stubborn.’
‘That’s the original, and,’ he clicked on the image behind.Â ‘See there? – see how it’s been photoshopped. Â That’s our Sarah alright.’
‘Sometimes the world was just too frantic and out of control. Constant texts and tweets demanded his attention, not to mention the calls. Peter wanted to curl up in a ball and plunge into the pastoral scene that kept recurring in his dreams. He wanted to return to that offline existence of slow journeys, white muslin dresses, and time to watch the clouds drift past.’
I want to go there too I think! Â The photo itself or the exact scene doesn’t need to be a part of the story itself – but it can be. In the last example with Peter, the image inspired a dream sequence of a time when things were slower. Or with the Dip Road bridge example – the photo just marks a place for the story. The people and animals in the photos might be characters – or not. You might choose to hone in on a particular object – like the brand on the cow (not sure there is a brand on that cow). And, as depicted above, your story can be any genre of your choosing, including crime, romance, steam punk, time travel, comedy, historic, the various forms of speculative fiction.
So, play with the images – turn them over in your mind. See what they become … surprise us with your story.
What story does this photo suggest for you? Â Share it with us in a comment.