"[I]n the old days I knew I had to dredge my subconscious, and the nouns did this.... [Make] lists of nouns and [ask], What does each noun mean? .... Then, when you get the list down, you begin to word-associate around it. You ask, Why did I put this word down? What does it mean to me? Why did I put this noun down and not some other word? Do this and you’re on your way to being a good writer.... Make a list of ten things you hate and tear them down in a short story or poem. Make a list of ten things you love and celebrate them.
"[E]xamine [the] nouns.... [B]ring some characters on to talk about that noun and that place, and all of a sudden I had a story going. I used to do the same thing with photographs that I’d rip out of glossy magazines. I’d take the photographs and I’d write little prose poems about them."-- Ray Bradbury from a Paris Review interview