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A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

Updated on March 26, 2012

In the early part of the 1900’s an article was written by Frederick R. Banard about how effective the use of graphics are in an advertising campaign. In this article he says “One look is worth a thousand words”. It is thought that this may be the origins of the age old saying “a picture is worth 1000 words” though if it is I guess that doesn’t make the saying age old after all, just about 100 years old. What the saying means of course is that a picture can tell a story just as well as a hunk of text.

Writing Prompt

Next time you want to write but think you have nothing to write about dust off this idea.

First find a picture that interests you, flip through a magazine, scroll through your tumbler feed or begin to go through the family album. Just find something that you like.

Next try to imagine what is going on in that picture, what was happening when it was taken? Who took it? Who is in it, if any one? Construct a story around the photo. You don’t need to know what was actually going on, in fact it’s better if you don’t. Make up your own story with the photo as you jumping off point.

Last write it down but here is the most important rule. Stop at a thousand words, a little over or a little under is fine, especially when most online word counters will all give you different results but keep your story within one hundred words of a thousand. Don’t stop to early and don’t keep going because your picture is worth a thousand words.


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