• Isabelle Osborne

Collaborative Creative Writing using visual prompts

I have always loved creative writing, but as university commitments have arisen and I have begun to realise my love of opinion writing, my creative flow has been put on the back burner. This is something I want to change, so here I present the first creative blog post that I hope is the start of many more to come.

A few weeks ago, myself and the wonderful Amy, founder of a fabulous blog and bookstagram called 'Read Between The Lines', decided to do a collaborative creative writing piece using a visual prompt. We chose an image (see below), then went away and each wrote a short piece that was inspired by this very image. As you will see, we both had completely different ideas and creative thoughts!

Below, you can find my piece of writing and it's inspiration, followed by Amy's piece of writing and inspiration, alongside a little bio of Amy. Enjoy!


Isabelle's Creative Piece:

Upon seeing this image, I was immediately drawn to how alone the boy was in this dark, dingy room. I often associate children with fun and vibrancy, yet this child seems isolated and lost. I began to imagine how this could have an effect on his wellbeing and his relationships, and so unfolded my creative piece...

I think it was my father that sparked my fascination for death. Watching him drink his troubles away night after night, day after day. Finding the half completed application forms for Alcoholics Anonymous in the bin next to the six empty bottles of wine. Reading his eulogy at his funeral after the doctors told us he had no more time left. I think that does something to a person.

People often say you have no early memories, that you only start remembering from the age of five. But I can remember the day my father bought me my first cassette player. I was three then. It is so vividly etched into my mind, like it only happened yesterday. I was staring out of the window in our little room, which doubled as a kitchen, bedroom and toilet. There wasn’t even any curtains. It was always so dark in that room. But in a way, it is the brightest memory I have of him, as he handed me his old cassette tapes and the player to go along with them. That is one of my happier memories, one that isn’t warped by slurred speech, bloody noses and broken bottles.

My father was in my mind as I sat waiting. I was replaying conversations over in my head. About where he wanted to go on holiday after his chemotherapy course was finished. About the places we would go when all this was over. About how he was going to change when he had the all clear from Doctor Sharp. This is what was running through my mind when the lady with the grey hair came into the room and called my name, taking me to the door that belonged to a DR PETERS.

‘And that is what brought you to me?’ the doctor asks, listening intently to my every word and scribbling notes.

I guess.

‘This is positive. I appreciate you offering this information, especially on our first session.’

I nodded stiffly, fumbling with my jumper sleeves.

There’s something else I want to discuss, to see if you think it’s strange.

‘Sure, go right ahead.’

Sometimes I feel like I’m my back there, in that tiny room staring out of the window with my back to the door, listening to his music. I can close my eyes, and feel the dampness from the walls, and smell his breath faintly toned with vodka as he hums the tunes. You aren’t saying anything.

She looks up from her notepad. ‘I’m just writing some notes. I don’t think what you are saying is abnormal, considering your circumstances. You mentioned earlier your fascination with death. Is this something you have realised through active pursuit?’

You could say that.

‘How do you mean?’

Well, I know that only around four hundred people have ever registered to see an execution in the USA.

‘And why is that relevant to your situation?’

Because when my father died, I became one of them.

You aren’t saying anything.


Amy's Creative Piece:

I'm Amy, an English Literature student and blogger! I love writing creatively, especially with a prompt. The inspiration behind this piece was the idea of moving house and the many meanings there can be behind it. Looking at the picture and seeing the young boy I was inspired to capture how the 'busyness' of a moving day can hide the realities of why a move may have to happen.

Hectic. That's the only word I have for today. Sure, it's been in the works for months, I signed the agreement weeks ago but nothing can prepare you for the moment the once empty, internet trapped room becomes your castle. 

Billy cried this morning. He (and I quote) wanted to know ' why Mummy was packing his life away.' So, rather guiltily, I have placed him upstairs in the bedroom of our new home- 87 Park Lane. Billy seemed more at peace there. I wish I could say the same. 

Ever since I (gently) told him, we had to leave (or go on an adventure as I phrased it then,) he has been smaller like he could sense this isn't an adventure you return from. I couldn't believe it. My bundle of joy. Gone. 

I should probably check on him. I place my tea down (peppermint) and run up the stairs, take a sharp turn left and there he is. I wish I knew his mind. Is he ok? Does he know I love him? Does he realise why we are here? 

The light frames his innocence. The window shining on his blue, blue eyes. My eyes meanwhile are on the new floor. It seems he has found the toy truck he so aptly called his 'life' this morning. 

I tread quietly away, not wanting to disturb him. 

'Mummy, I know you are there.' 

'Is that so?' 


'Mummy, I like it here.' 

'I am glad.' 


If you would like to get involved with a creative collaboration or project like this one, please get in touch by sending me an email or message via the 'Subscribe' tab of my blog!

Featured image courtesy of the Tony Cole on Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image

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