I’ve done a few creative writing courses in my time and one of the things that often pops up on these courses is the use, or creation, of a word prompt. Word prompts, or word clouds, are simply words of all shapes and colours that are dropped onto a page for the use of sparking those creative juices.
Personally, I don’t often use word prompts as I find that my ideas for my stories are the easy part, it’s the getting-it-down-the-page bit that causes me the trouble, although there have been times when I’ve inadvertently reacted to a prompt; reading magazines that start you off with a sentence and ask you to complete another four hundred words, or when I found a piece of paper in a library book that had a mysterious word written on it. Everybody is different and I know that some people swear by these and others use them with kids in school.
Due to this, I thought about setting up a word cloud for both my fantasy writing, as well as my science-fiction writing. I wrote down thirty words on each topic and had planned just to throw them together in some haphazard manner. This was the hard part; changing fonts, sizes and colours on the words, moving them around etc.
So, whilst I was doing some digging on how best to do this, I found a website that did it all for you using a program called Tagxedo.
This program takes all the hard work out of formatting your word prompts and enables you to create great pieces of art in a matter of seconds. All you need to do is input the words you want to use, choose a shape, and let it do the rest. (For the more adventurous you can use your own shapes and also affect the way the words are managed via the settings).
My sci-fi and fantasy attempts (taking me less than a few minutes each) were;
(Click them for full size image)
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