I always try not to do too many image-based exercises in a row, because they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and because the images in question won’t always be out there for you to click through to. But the truth is, there are a ton of inspiring images out there on the web–enough to populate a world full of books.
Today, take a look at this sand sculpture of a crowd of people standing on and around a hill. Free-write about it, use it as a story starter, use it as a plot device, or something else. Perhaps the sculpture itself will appear in your story. Perhaps you use it metaphorically or free-associate from it. Perhaps it gives you an idea for a story or scene involving a crowd of people on a hill that has nothing to do with sand sculpture. Maybe it’ll inspire you to write about a public event you attended, or to wax poetic about a particular type of public gathering.
Images can activate parts of your brain not touched by plain words, and there are so many different places you can take such inspiration. No two writers’ results from this exercise would be the same.