An Old Painting As A Writing Prompt?

Surfing the internet isn’t always a waste of time. I was looking for something when I ran across the image of an old painting, namely ‘Gothic Church Ruins’, painted by Carl Blechen in 1826. (And yes, I’m permitted to use the picture for free without copyright problems, since the copyright has been ‘outdated’). However, that’s not the question at this moment.

Earlier this year, namely in March, when I was in the hospital for several days I drafted the outlines and main characters for three new books, which surprised me very much. (Apparently being in the hospital gave me an unexpected creativity boost) I have continued working on my books, but I only have limited time. And then, after I saw this old painting, I got lost in my fantasies.

Immediately I had visions of beautiful spiritual creatures and forms living in and around these, once handmade, structures, that are now claimed back by nature. Of course, fantasies alone don’t make for a story yet, but in many ways, Carl Blechen’s work has given me an amazing input to mine.

Now, when it comes to ‘Writing Prompt’… what is the meaning of it? Yes, I think, most of us know what it means… it’s generally of help to us, when our writer’s brain goes blank (which very rarely happens), but that’s another story…

According to the ‘Freelance Writing-Love-to-know’ website, a writing prompt is ‘usually a statement followed by questions you can use to craft a piece.’ Simple, and to the point.

Would I need a writing prompt to develop and have ideas? Usually, I don’t. But then, I’m a writer… some input is good for me. I’m sometimes afraid, I keep on writing within the same ‘drawer’ and am completely untalented for other pieces of work. That’s one of the reasons, why I decided to ‘break away’ from ‘The Concil of Twelve’ series for a few pieces, to see, if I can write different stories.

That particular picture gave me another idea. We are now talking about staying faithful to the genre, but still, writing outside of my series. I’m not sure yet, how that story is going to be, and in what direction it’s headed. But I’m sure, with time, we are going to find out.

Picture courtesy of Carl Blechen (1798 – 1840)

How do you try to find inspiration, when you’re running dry of ideas? Do you use writing prompts? If yes, where do you find them? Let us know in the comments, we’re curious!