When writer's block hits me, this is a method I've developed to free me from the shackles.
Using one word is a well known technique for triggering writing, even if it only squeezes a single sentence from our brains. But, that is not the only part of my scheme. So hang with me, here, as we still need that one word to begin the process.
Pick a word any word.
Can't think of one?
Grab the nearest printed object. Mine says Ipod. Okay, so I grab the word, pod, and write about it. "the pea pod was like velvet in my hand, the peas, like the food of the gods, blessed my mouth with flavor".
Yes, it's corny. But, let's not judge. Whatever you come up with will work. A stream of conciousness will suffice. (pod... dod... god... blessed.. food...). It's a trigger, not to be taken too seriously. Anything to stimulate creativity when we're wanting to unleash ourselves from our greatest enemy is a gift.
Now, take the full amount created and put it in Google search. The above one word trigger sentence brought forth a lot about peas in the google search, a lot about food. But, let's say you want something more creative to help you get moving. Something, unrelated to cooking or growing peas. In fact, let's delete the peas and anything that might bring up a food reference out of our search. Might as well get rid of the extraneous adjectives, and get a cleaner search.
pod velvet hand gods blessed mouth
Let's see what happens...
Ah ha! Look at that. Pod still wins out with food references. We can go with this or narrow down further. Even though pod was our trigger word, let's throw out the pod.
There it is! Many new trigger words to get your fingers jumping over the keyboard. Not just one.
Now, here is the important thing, and I mean important! No matter how interesting the response looks, DO NOT GO THERE! You will end up spending the next hour perusing the site and all the fascinating new information. After all, a writer is a word junky. Words call us home to luxuriate in their warm embrace. DON'T GO THERE! This is an exercise in self control. No, this is an exercise in creativity. Yes, both.
Here's what you do next. Looking at the Google responses you will see jumbled parts of sentences containing your words. This combination of phrases is enough to trigger some writing. One of my Google responses is from the site: Book of Riddles - Strolen's Citadel: A Role Playing Community
"A golden bird did in its mouth abide The serpent drank the water, ... Jewel on black velvet, pearl in the sea Unchanged but e'erchanging, eternally. .... For our ambrosia we were blessed, by Jupiter, with a sting of death. ..... A sieve/collander (Sphere of Annihilation) Though desert men once called me God, ..."
This is not an exercise in plagiarism, so it's not a good idea to turn this into a little poem. It looks like it already is part of one. If there is one turn of phrase that really stands out for you, write it down, and go from there:
Here's my example:
The serpent drank the water as the dew formed. I was more fascinated by the drops of moisture than I was of his tiny eyes staring fire into the dawn.
I don't care for serpents and I would find myself avoiding the visual stimulation to go further with this, so if I change serpent into butterfly... maybe. But, the researcher in me will want to verify if butterflies actually drink dew at dawn, unless I'm going to give myself poetic liscence, and go with the flow.
Another method is to make a list of all the significant words so that you will have something more substantial to keep you going. Perhaps create a whole piece with those words.
I am so tempted to go into that website and discover how all those enticing phrases are related! What wonderful words these are!
We could easily spend an hour or two perusing a dictionary to delight in all the nuances of these words. Couldn't we? If you have time and no deadline to meet, enjoy yourself. See ya later. Come back when you're ready to play some more. But, If you are still in the "let's see where else this will take us" mode, stay here.
If you are still not feeling particularly creative, the simplest thing would be to make one sentence each with one of the words in it. In the past, I would have done this on small cards and put them away until later to use as triggers. But, now we can simply keep them in a document, we call, triggers list, or simply, sentence list.
Here are some examples of sentences I might create if I am totally in left brain mode:
Her hair had the sheen of a newborn black colt
The hillsides looked like velvet.
He liked the feel of the pearl handled gun.
The sea was alive with fury that day.
Later on, we can go back to these sentences and ask the who, what, where, why's, etc. and maybe a novel will be born.
If you want to go a next step further, take all the words and make a poem or story.
I won't share mine right now. I think I've got 50,000 words on the way!