Writing Prompt Story Starter: Books As Art

story starter

Oh, don’t you love this? It was a gift from the Story Starter fairy.

On the same recent visit to Hamburg that I mentioned last week, we wandered into one of their lovely “passages” — small indoor shopping malls — and were met by this amazing sight.

Strings of books suspended from the ceiling. Literally flights of fancy.

That has to be theme number one, doesn’t it?

I don’t really know where else to go with this one, to be honest!

Let’s think about the books — where they’ve come from, whose they were. Are there any treasures among them? Imagine if you saw the very book you’d been wishing and longing for . . .

Or perhaps it’s one you’ve owned?

Imagine if you saw your name on the flyleaf, in your own childish handwriting? Or one of those lovely ornate labels detailing the prize you’d won.

Imagine if you saw a book you’d written — or that a parent or ancestor had written. The only copy you’d ever seen. And it was at the top of the string.

OK, perhaps I’m being ridiculous now!

What happens to them next?

Who strung them together? And what happens to them next, after the exhibition/art event is finished?

What’s the artist’s intention in mounting the display?

Would you feel you could touch them, turn the pages, check the titles? Or are they out of bounds, look but don’t touch? And would you break the rules?

That presents another theme . . .

This also makes me think of book readings, with people hanging over the railings of the balcony you can just see.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ll come up with something stunningly creative from this Story Starter.

We’re looking for our usual range of story lengths at the moment — 1200, 2000 and 3000 — though bear in mind as ever that more writers are drawn to write 2000 words.

This means the competition in that range is especially fierce.

Read more of Shirley’s Story Starters here.

Click here for writing hints, tips and tricks from our Fiction team.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.