This is a little exercise to jump-start your creative juices. When you need a fresh idea, try gathering a series of pictures. Look at real estate ads, websites, or movie scenes and choose a house. Or it could be a desert or a forest--anyplace that appeals to you.
|Hollywood-creative commons and Charleston|
Now choose a few compatible-seeming characters with similar dress and looks. I like the expressions on these faces. They make the ideas flow.
I’ve used pictures that suit me, but you could adapt this exercise to any kind of story that appeals to you. It could be a battle zone with weary soldiers, and something completely out of place appears (depending on the type of story, there should be some logical explanation though) to totally change the direction of the story. The same kind of thing could apply to a story in progress that’s sagging—throw in something unexpected and see what happens. How do the characters react? How does it affect the storyline? There are so many possibilities, and for me, pictures help trigger my imagination.
How do you do it? Would this sort of exercise work for you?