Dandelion Method

Here is a description of how to create and utilize prompts effectively. Ray Bradbury writes in the preface to Dandelion Wine that in his early twenties he discovered a word association technique that helped him reliably build stories. As he described it, “I simply got out of bed each morning, walked to my desk, and put down any word or series of words that happened along in my head. I would then take arms against the word or for it, and bring on an assortment of characters to weigh the word and show me its meaning in my life. An hour or two hours later, to my amazement, a new story would be finished and done.” As the word ‘dandelion’ is associated with this description of the author’s method, it makes for a useful visual metaphor, that of a spreading, branching, far reaching plant that casts out seeds in every direction, just as a good prompt should. Bradbury goes on in this preface to describe how he pulled images and sensations from boyhood out to establish the scaffolding for this poetic and whimsical glimpse into a boy’s world.


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