Blue hour in Wistman’s Wood

In my last post I used as a poetry prompt a line from an ad written by someone aspiring to be a fluent English speaker. I ran across some photos today that had prompt potential as well, but this time I picture fiction as the output.



If you haven’t tried your hand at writing fiction before, but think you could spare a few minutes for an experiment, let’s give it a try.

Just sit with this picture for a minute. It feels to me like part of a different world. What’s that world like? Take a deep breath and conjure the smell of the place. What can you hear? Can you picture what kind of dwelling you might find in this forest? Finally, look off to the right between those two slanting trees. Someone is coming this way. 

Next, you can write a few lines to respond to any of those questions. You can write a bit about a story you’re beginning to glimpse, or just jot down some ideas. Who are you in this world? Who’s approaching? Are you apprehensive? When and what did you last eat? Are you hunting, or perhaps being hunted?



Turning from fiction to real life, these images by photographer Neil Brunell show us Wistman’s Wood, in Darmoor, Devon, England. Brunell likes to be in the wood during what he calls “blue hour,” the hour before sunrise. The article in Colossal about his photos can be found here.



If these photos don’t conjure the beginnings of a story, perhaps they call forth a tune. I can almost hear a reedy sort of flute melody, myself, and perhaps some bohdrán. What do you hear?


[Images: Neil Burnell at]

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