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[personal profile] albionidaho
I want to write about letting the dreamer write.

I was speaking with Graham Joyce one night at a World Fantasy Convention. I may get this slightly wrong, but I think I can convey the gist:

Graham told me that when writers write they need to let the dreamer write first. He encouraged me, as he's encouraged others, to just dream on the page when writing the first draft of a story. Don't worry about plot and characters or structure or language or any of the other things writers worry about when they write. Just dream.

Later, after the dreamer has created the story on the page, you let the writer in. But not until the dreamer is done. Letting the writer work before the dreamer has done her magic is a common mistake.

When it's the writer's turn to work, you shape the story, working on plot and characters and structure and language and ensuring the story works. And when the writer is done it's time for the editor to come in with her red pen and rip everything apart.

But first you have to let the dreamer in.

Trying to let the dreamer create before I open the door to the writer and the editor has made a huge difference for me. For a long time I was trying to let the writer create, and it wasn't working for me--I was expecting the writer to do her job and the dreamer's, too.

I think this concept works for all writers, whether you're usually an outliner or not; when you're outlining, you're still letting the dreamer work.

Date: 2011-02-19 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shaolingrrl.livejournal.com
This is really interesting. I usually hear it expressed as writer first, then editor instead of dreamer then writer. But "writer" still has these professional, competent overtones that mess me up in a different way but still, I think, mess me up....

Thank you for this.

Date: 2011-02-22 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] albionidaho.livejournal.com
You're welcome :).

Same thing messes me up. And, according to Graham, we're not alone.

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