Around the end of December 2013, I came upon a post with pretty pictures of the 33 most beautiful abandoned places in the world. One of those clickbaity list posts, but this one struck a chord. I love the desolate beauty of abandoned things.
And so I decided to write something about all 33, inspired by the pictures but not necessarily relating to the real-world location or function of the place. I had thought I’d finish it all by the end of January 2014, but I didn’t keep at it diligently enough. I had a months-long pause and forgot all about it, but in mid-December I finally kickstarted my project again. And now, I have just finished writing a poem about the 33rd picture.
I didn’t manage to finish this project in the time frame I’d initially set myself, but I did finish in the end! And now I have 33 pieces of flash fiction and poems based on the pictures. Some of them will never make it past the initial draft phase; some of them I’ve already edited and sent off; some of them are rough now but contain interesting kernels of plot and character that might grow into proper stories one day; one of them will be published this year (as “The Ruin” in Luna Station Quarterly). Most excellent.
I’ve discovered that writing prompted by a picture is a good way for me to get my brain jogged into action. Will have to keep finding interesting pictures to leap into and write about. I should keep doing writing exercises of other sorts as often as I can, too – they’re a great way of building up writing muscle.