Writing Prompt Story Starter – Blank Canvas

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My choice of story starter this week is a blank canvas. Not very inspiring at first glance. But what I like about the blank canvas concept is, you can fill it with whatever you wish.

I could have chosen a blank page, but as story prompts are essentially visual in nature, the canvas works well. However, blank page or canvas, the results will be the same – you want to fill it with ideas, scenarios and hopefully intrigue.

How do you come up with story ideas if you are struggling for them in the first place? Why not try doodling, or write down someone’s name – real or imaginary? If you write the name as you would any word, why not try to write it artistically?

The same applies with a doodle. Look at doodling as a creative exercise; not so much focussing on the concept of the doodle, but rather enjoying the doodling process and letting your mind wander.

Creative concentration

When trying to write, have you ever said, “I can’t concentrate?” Then don’t try and concentrate. Simply write or doodle what comes to mind.

In my case, it’s usually a single idea or impression; a catalyst for what is to follow. I will very rarely force an idea to work. I let my imagination decide if an idea has depth to it. During these moments I often do nothing but imagine.

If you write down a name on your blank canvas, any name, can you picture that person’s face? A face will have a personality attached to it, so how is that person feeling? What else do you see forming in your mind’s eye? Is the blank canvas starting to become a picture?

Placing a character in different scenarios will yield all manner of results. What you want to ask yourself is, what will happen next? The simplest and most effective of story concepts.

It’s your blank canvas; fill it with whatever you wish.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.