7 May 2016

Picture composition - narrating a story based on an incident in an image

Usually in CEED or any other design exam for that matter, has the following type of question : Given an illustration of a incident/situation, narrate a story based on your creative imagination in not more than 200/300 words. 

Well, although this is purely based on your observation of the given scenario and derivation of useful links for the story, we can follow some rules/principles that might help us find way to you a creative and meaningful story. These points are already discussed by me in my earlier post - Frame a story by seeing an image - composed by our friend Aditi, I'm listing them again here for your reference. 

  1. Understand the question and know about the situation, ex. for the below picture, (story of which i'm writing down at the end), it was stated that "The illustration is an artistic impression of an incident in a club house". So, we NEED to flag these keywords - 'club house' and 'incident' inorder to start the story. The whole story should (most of the times) roam around the incident i.e. activity in the club house. This is very important! Spend time observing the given situation/sketch without jumping straight to write the story - Have a clear vision of what has to be written by framing the story Take time !
  2. Observe most of the individuals/character of the situation 
  3. Observe their activities - what they are doing
  4. Most importantly note/mind the "mood" of the character (if it is clear in the image) - it's very important in story framing ! 
  5. Mind the age and gender of the characters !
  6. Look for surrounding things - like TV, books, background (if its sceneray) etc. Background might be a closed room, might be a beach (ex. image shown in above post by Aditi), a school, a farm land etc. what not ? anything!   
  7. Try to derive a meaningful relation among the individual characters, and try to speak about most of the characters/things etc in your story 

There are two methods (I guess - might be more) of narrating any incident

  • By assuming one of the characters in the incident as yourself, and narrating accordingly
  • By assuming that you are not involved and you are seeing the incident, just like watching a TV and telling what is happening there.

Most of the times, in CEED exams, second method is applicable, I mean we just need to narrate the incident wihtout being involved (unless specifically mentioned)

Below is an example story that I wrote for one of the previous paper question - CEED 2014, Part B, question 2

Question :

The illustration above is an artist’s impression of an incident in a club house. 

Narrate the incident in your own words, based on your creative imagination. 

Limit your description to less than 250 words. 

Evaluation Criteria: 
Originality of the narrative 
Imagination and Ideation 
Story telling ability

Note: I remember, when I gave exam in 2013, they gave space (with ruled lines) for writing the story, which in actual is less for 250 words. I mean space is very less to elaborate the story. Keeping this in mind, I try to write a short story. Hope, that's ok for you.

My Story for the above situation

It's already 4.40pm in the evening and the so called meeting-head, who has to be there for the club meeting 'xyz colony welfare' is yet to arrive. Scheduled time was 4.00pm and so most of them, who arraived in time, are almost loosing their patience. Children started their naughty activites as usual. One of the colony resident 'Ramu' got totally impatient and inspite of his mothers attempts of pacifying him, he walked away form the club in order to go out and do some other activity, thinking that the meeting is not going to happen that day. 

His mother was trying to stop him with her level best, since the meeting is basically about conducting a counselling sessions for the teens in the colony and so she was interested in having his son present during the meeting. Mr. and Mrs. Shah, whom just came inside the club was wondering about the mess in the room. They stood watching Ramu and his Mom, whispering between them that they did right thing of being late. 

Soumya and her neighbour were trying to get hold of their kids and make them sit in the common waiting hall, children of whom were running here and their; playing with one another. Shyam Lal, who opened a temporary setup for selling eatables and drinks was having good time selling things for the desperately waiting club members because of being late. Meanwhile, Ajit and his wife were busy watching live cricket in television, and Meera aunt although not interested in watching, but in order to avoid getting into boredom state, also started watching TV. Assitant of the meeting head, Premji uncle is still confused on what topics to discuss during the meeting and so was putting all his intelligence to make the proceedings in order.


This is of course a simple story that I made quickly since it's already 2am ;) But, I guess you must have got some idea on how to deal with story writing questions. You can also refer to Aditi post - Frame a story by seeing an image for another example or you can share your own attempt of story composition writing in the blog specifically meant for design questions sharing for everyone's benefit.

Have a nice week with your story writings :)


  1. My story on above picture.
    Its 7:25 in the evening & the club has started getting full! A big family has arrived in the lobby for their marriage anniversary celebration. Their daughter and son are also present there and they sat on the sofa enjoying the TV. The sons mother has worn special ornaments and a beautiful saree! Which is looking very beautiful on her.She is helping other guests to find a place.
    Just bow another guest is arriving into the club.Suddenly the pots cap slipped down! Ohh..its that cat. He just ran away and hide into the sofa! The club staff have designed the club for this occasions. They have kept a fresh and beautiful flower pit besides the sofa. Then beautiful mats on the floor. Otherwise that black-white floor would have look like chess-board!
    Now the father is checking the menu card. Looks like he is little bit worrying about the food. May be because he has to follow his diet! The shefs of the club are akk ready to prepare the food.They have All set with their preprocessing vegitabkesvand other stuff.
    One thing is that everyone is looking very beautiful and happy! Its a great day for the couple!

  2. when it comes to write a story in 3 lines and using 3 words(which are given) what do you suggest ?

    1. We better call it 'event' rather than story. Basically, 'using the given words how do you narrate an incident' is what u need to do.


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