One of the most interesting creative exercises in Ray Bradbury's Zen and the Art of Writing is to make a list of nouns, start writing a prose poem inspired by the word or words that catch your eye, and see where it goes.
Bradbury used lists of nouns. I thought it would be more interesting to get these lists from another work that I I love. So I chose Beyond the Wall of Sleep by H P Lovecraft. It is a story that inspired a lot of my writing.
I tossed the story into WordSift, and here is the list that popped out:
body brain certain come cosmic day decadent dr dream ethereal eye face family form head high hour indeed institution joe know language life light like lip little man manner mental message mind mountain night own perhaps said saw seemed slater sleep space thing thought time two upon waking way year
These are the most common words in the story. The ones in bold are the ones that caught my eye.
cosmic decadent dream ethereal eye
The words for me clumped a bit and made the image clearer and more interesting.
cosmic decadent, dream, ethereal eye
That is a good seed for a story. I know what I am going to write this week. What are you working on?