Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Visual Fun

Big Huge Labs, home of many fun and useful Flickr toys, has one generator I often use for title and story ideas: the photo fortune generator.

The generator, which provides a random pithy quotation and three random images based on a single keyword taken from the quotation, often produces some interesting combinations. Here are a few screenshots of my results (click on any image to see larger version):

Classic fairytale and fable retelling is a favorite device among fiction writers, and this one seems to hint that there might be more to the story of the goose who laid the golden eggs. Such as, what has that pretty girl been feeding her flock? Whatever is shining in that jar? Might be fun to explore. Title ideas: The Golden Goose Girl, A Light Lunch, Hold What Glitters.

I cringed a little as soon as I saw the first image -- quite painful looking, and reminded me of this guy who came into the ER who had . . . no, I better not tell that story. Anyway, the following two pics added some irony and a wry chuckle to the tableau, especially followed by Plato's silly pronouncement. Title ideas: Good for Evil, Make It Happen, The Spoiler, Forked (and there's a Twilight parady begging to be written.)

The Woody Allen quotation adds a bit more comedy here, but the images tell a different story -- a very engimatic one. The beautiful feline, the bright flower and the hall filled with paintings would make interesting and (if handled correctly) powerful story elements. I'm thinking a thriller or mystery. Title Ideas: What the Cat Saw, Silent Bloom, Torn to Masterpieces.

This was my favorite of all the ones I generated; I love the grinning pup. The sunset (or sunrise) and the fetching young lady all add suggestions of romance, as does the Howe quotation. Title ideas: Loving Enemies, Better Friends, Sunset Smile.

If you don't care for the randomness of this generator but are still in finding inspirational images tailored to your needs, you can head over to Flickr and perform a search using keywords that directly relate to your story. I did one search with the keywords strong, stubborn and warrior and found this amazing but totally unexpected artwork that gave me some new ideas on how to flesh out one of my secondary characters.


  1. Wow! Went to Flickr to see your search results. King Xun Wong?? Sign me up. I thought of at least ten ways to use him...er...in a story, I mean.

  2. This is so much fun!

  3. Jyst wondering...have you taken the Pinterest Plunge yet?
    (a.k.a. The new time sinkhole...!}


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