Classroom Exercise Playwriting

Picture Prompt: The Aftermath

Written by Lindsay Price

Ideas can come from anything and everything. But it’s always a good idea to give students a jumping off point. Pictures are a great jumping off point for creative writing.

Today we’re looking at The Aftermath – a picture that shows the aftermath of an event. Something has clearly happened – so let’s decide what that is, and how a character might react to what has happened.

Using the picture at the top of the post, take these steps:

1. Automatic write on the picture. Set a timer for two minutes and tell students to write down everything and anything that comes to mind when they look at the picture. Don’t self-censor or judge any thought, just get it down on the page. Explain to students they’re creating source material to draw from for future writing.

2. Have students answer the following questions:

    • What happened here five minutes ago?
    • What is the world like in the aftermath of this event?
    • Will this event happen again? Why or why not?
    • Who took the picture and why?
    • What is this person thinking about?
    • What happened to the owner of this car?

3. Based on the automatic writing and the answers to the questions, students will write a monologue. Here are some suggestions:

    • Write an inner monologue from the perspective of the photographer. What are they thinking about as they look at the car? What do they want from life?
    • Write a monologue from the perspective of the car. Personify the car. What were they like before the event? What happened to them?
    • Write a monologue from the perspective of the owner of the car. What is their response to seeing what happened? What do they want?
    • Write a monologue in which a person talks about life after the event. How were they affected? What is it like in the aftermath?
    • Write a monologue in which a person sees the event coming. What is their response?
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About the author

Lindsay Price