We were just chatting on the Linkedin forum about writer’s block and in one of my replies I suggested filling in a word web and was going to suggest a blank one on the internet only I couldn’t find one that could represent what I was talking about… not without wading through pages of educational and academic links so I thought, I’ve got one so I may as well put it on here. So here it is.
It’s pretty self-explanatory but the idea is that you pick a strong word for the centre, i.e. if you were to pick something like zebra you might only get inital links of stripes, black/white, horse, crossing before getting stuck (which wouldn’t help your writer’s block at all). You could then get stars from stripes (which itself could lead to flag which could then go to half-mast… to half-past and so on) and piano from black/white and so on and so forth but with not many inital leads you may find your web top or bottom heavy. So I suggest picking a random page from a book then looking for a word that may lead in plenty of directions.
Once you have your web filled in (and of course you could start other webs with some of the keywords you’ve come out with), pick half a dozen elements and see if you can make a story out of them. You can take this literally and do what we do on a Monday night workshop and write a story in 10-15 minutes including four of those words. It’s amazing the different stories that can be born out of the same four words… disproving that all great minds think alike.
Good luck and have fun… and if you have a minute (after your 10-15 of course), do let me know how you get on.