Sunday, September 13, 2009

writers don't waste

No doubt you’ve had your own problems with the dream world. I certainly have. I can’t control it at all. I just had a troubling dream. I was locked in a car trunk. I hate car trunks. So cramped. The smell of damp carpet. The spare gouging your back . You can't move. You can't even breathe right. The air is stale and there's not enough of it.

I don’t like small places. A trunk is a small place. No need to get in one to check this out. Take my word for it. You can’t stretch out in a trunk . You're helpless locked in there. It feels like you'll never get out.

In my dream I started screaming and kicking and punching. I wanted someone to know I was unhappy. I hoped for help. Instead, I woke up. But it got me out of the trunk so maybe that was the help I hoped for.

Dreams, like memories, can be good sources of emotional moments. If I ever put one of my characters in a trunk ( and how could I not now?), I will feel very bad. I will feel sympathy and guilt, of course. BUT maybe I will do a good job because I will remember how I felt in that trunk, and I will describe that feeling. Sorry characters, I will think, and then put them through hell. Sometimes we have to put our characters through hell.

Here’s one of the great things about writing: all memories, even the bad ones, even memories of dreams, can be stored or, if you prefer, thrown in the compost, and eventually they will be used. SO THERE NIGHTMARES. You may think you’re getting something over on me but I’m using you or I will use you. Writers don’t waste anything.

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