Opening Scene for a Story

This week’s photo prompt combines all the ones from the last three weeks. Instead of focusing either on characters, settings, or plot, write down your first impressions of this photo for all three. Then use those impressions to write an opening scene for a story.


  • Two girls, not older than ten
  • Wearing summer clothes
  • One girl is holding summer flowers, the other maybe leaves or a turtle
  • Look enough alike to be sisters or cousins
  • The one on the left looks slightly older


  • In the woods or in a park
  • Paved path or road
  • Summer
  • Girls are comfortable in setting


  • The girls are making up from a fight
  • The older girl is telling the younger one about something she saw
  • They are chatting while they wait for something
  • The older girl is suggesting something to do

Here’s my opening:

My cousin Lucy and me sat on the empty road. We wouldn’t get squished. Nobody used the road any more except hunters in the fall and winter. The road was a little warm because the sun ooched between the branches of the tall maples and sycamores.

I stroked the baby turtle I’d found near the car where the man and woman were arguing. I said, “I wished they’d leave.”

Lucy wiped some hair away from her mouth. “I know. We can’t play Princess Rescue with grown-ups around.” She tilted her head, listening, so I did too.

I heard a kind of buzzing but it wasn’t bees. But I wasn’t sure if it was the man and woman talking either.

Lucy looked at the asters in her hand. “Do you recognize those people?”

“Nope. Nobody ever comes around here since Old Mr. Hardy died and nobody works his farm.”

A scream made me and Lucy jump up. Then it got real quiet, creepy quiet.

I stepped closer to Lucy. “Was that a happy scream or a scared scream?”

How would you use this opening scene for a story?

5 thoughts on “Opening Scene for a Story

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  1. I love how you use words like squished and ooched to sound like a child:)

    Here’s my idea:

    “Since tomorrow’s the last day of camp, we’re gonna give Miss Em a surprise,” Sophie says.
    “We are?” I wonder what I’ll have to do this time. Hopefully not another caterpillar costume like last time.
    “Yup. You and me. We’ll hang flowers on her bunk and you give her your toad.” She grins because it’s the best idea ever. Miss Em will love it.
    “Um, how do I keep the toad a surprise until then?” He keeps hopping out of my hands, but I can’t squeeze too hard or he’ll breath-ocate. Timmy told me all about a salamander that he squeezed to keep from running away and it breath-ocated to death.
    “Easy!” Sophie says. “We’ll keep him in my water bottle. Miss Em will never know until the surprise party!”

    1. I love it! Especially breath-ocate. That sounds like my younger son. I think it’s so hard for an adult to sound like a child, so you have to be careful of your word choice. Having kids at home makes it possible. You’ve done it wonderfully!

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