Thursday, 24 January 2013

Permanent Residency, Strange Dreams, and Free Writing



Hey all,

This post seems to start a pretty good distance away from talking about anything related to writing at all. But, if you keep on slogging through, it’ll get closer and closer to the more standard writing centric tidbits that I sorta kinda try to stick to; I promise.

So, it’s been a super busy last few days for me, and unfortunately writing has fallen a little bit to the wayside. That’s not to say that I haven’t been writing at all, because I have—just less than usual. I just mailed off my application for permanent residency in Canada, which took no less than 10 or 12 hours to collect/scan/fill out all the papers, pictures, and forms that I needed. It was a lot more work than I’d expected, which is really the most prominent reason I haven’t been in super-serious-write-mode.

On another, entirely unrelated (but it does [sort of] pertain to writing) subject, I’ve had the strangest dreams this week. They’ve been long and packed with odd people and rather terrifying action sequences. At one point the other day, I sat down determined to sketch out an outline for one of the more exciting dreams. Now, here’s the thing about dreams, I’ve come to find; they make perfect sense when you think about them in the more abstract concepts, but when you try to plot them out, it’s chaos. There is really no rhyme or reason for why anything happens—at all, ever. There were devil birds, wizards, castles, swords, variants of people I’ve met throughout the years, as well as some giant crablike creature that seemed to represent the soul of the planet, but was determined to wipe out humanity with a series of tsunamis. Like I said—it was weird. The writing of the dream, though, was pretty much doomed before it started. It broke every single one of my ‘how I write’ guidelines that I mentioned in my very first couple posts. There was no solid skeleton to base anything off of, and I was just lost. I think if I were ever to attempt this again (dreams into stories) I’d rather just borrow bits and pieces and slip them into my own plot, rather than try to stick to the weirdness of the dream in its entirety.

Now, for the actual writing bit of the post on the blog about writing. When I write, I tend to go off of the scribbles in my journals that I’ve made from the night before. Writing things down, even in the most abstract sense of the word, tends to help me figure out exactly what’s going on in my brain. When the thoughts are still in my heads, they’re just a crazy mash of plot points, movie(like) scenes, dialogue, and character actions. The scene can only come to life after I’ve put the concepts down in the journals and have filled in the rest of the world. I find that when I do this, I avoid being stumped far more often than if I try to free write. When I free write, I seem to spend most of my time yelling at the book for not revealing its secrets to me. Except, the last few times I’ve sat down to work on my most recent WIP (work in progress), the free writing has just gone magnificently. I don’t know what’s changed, maybe it’s my familiarity with the material having been doing a rewrite, but things are going smoothly, at least for the time being. I guess it goes to show that there is always room to experiment with techniques when you’re making art, no matter how wordy it is. Give it a try sometime and play with the way you write, it might just end up not being the ball of molten chaos that you were expecting.

-Trevor

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