Lockdown Adventures: Mining Art Galleries for Stories

Our reporter Gill James has been keeping herself busy with creative writing exercises during lockdown and wants you to join in with our new series Lockdown Adventures!

Over the next few weeks, there will be a different creative writing challenge set that can easily be done at home with just pen and paper or if you prefer straight on to your tablet or computer screen.

And we would love to see your work, so send us an email to [email protected] and we’ll publish them on our news site.

This week’s challenge is: Mining Art Galleries for Stories

Gill said: “Well, we can’t visit Art Galleries at the moment, but many of them have pictures displayed on websites. Look for example at Bury Art Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery and the Tate. But if you can’t access a gallery you probably have pictures in your own home you can use just as well.

“So for this lockdown adventure, look for a picture or pictures and choose four characters. These are the characters that often appear in stories:

· Hero (Cinderella, Harry Potter)

· Mentor (The Fairy Godmother – Dumbledore – can be something non-human in a more sophisticated story. The mentor usually disappears and leaves the hero to resolve the story on their own)

· Enemy (Stepsisters and stepmother, Voldemort, in more sophisticated stories, this can be a set of circumstances – e.g. poverty, illness)

· Friend (Buttons, the mice, Ron, Hermione, Hagrid – the friend offers help and comfort but has very little power)

“Think about what each one is like physically, intellectually, and emotionally. What is their personality like? What are their greatest desire and their greatest fear?

“Then we’re going to put the hero with one of the others and see what happens. Write a short scene in which the two meet.

“And something to look forward to post lockdown. Plan a visit to a gallery. Have a good wander around. Find a picture you like. Then go and sit down in the café with your notebook and get your characters into conversation.”



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