Have you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs? Leamington Reading Hackers have, and they loved the idea of writing a story based on old pictures so much, they wanted to have a go!


During the last two weeks Reading Hackers have explored the fabulous pictures we safely keep in our Local Studies Section. Although there are copyright restrictions if you want to reproduce them, these photos and illustrations enable anyone to get a sense of what life was like around here some 10, 50 or 200 years ago… You can see how different the Parade or the old town looked, for instance!


The picture represented above bears the mention: ‘Unidentified children on a postcard in the “Leafy Leam” series’. It was Ishita’s favourite, and as a creative Reading hacker, she has some useful tips for you if you want to imagine a whole story around it:


Step 1: Focus on the details

Look at the characters’ facial expressions and try to think of what you would be feeling if you had that expression on your face. In the postcard the dog is squinting and is looking suspiciously at someone or something. Think creatively and realistically: what could a dog have spotted? Perhaps an animal or a thief…


Step 2: Develop the characters and give background information

Think about the other people in the photo and justify who they are. For instance the dog could be a family pet. The children could be his owners. The thief could be their uncle, who wants to put his hands on some secret family heirloom before his brother (the children’s dad) can have it. It could be the young boy’s birthday and the bike was his present. It’s a special occasion so the family has gathered and everyone is taking picture to capture memories.


Step 3: Build up the plot

The thief could be trying to steal an old family heirloom that has supernatural powers. Think about why the thief wants this object.


Step 4: Go into depth about key points

This heirloom could have the power to read other people’s minds. It could have been passed down for centuries but when the three children’s grandfather got murdered, he did not have time to explain to his son, the children’s dad, what it was and how to use it. He took the secret to his grave, and only the uncle now knows about it.


Step 5: Build suspense by gradually revealing information

Don’t say exactly what happened after the picture was taken, so the reader can use their own imagination…


Are you ready to start your best-selling novel yet? 😀


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