albionidaho: (Default)
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.
albionidaho: (Default)
They (whoever they are) say that the biggest three stresses are divorce, moving and death. I've dealt with all three over the past two years. And believe me, whoever they are, they know what they're talking about.

But the stress they don't talk about is staying in a bad place. That's even worse than divorce, moving and death.

***


When I write now I see my evolution as a writer. I am changing, and growing. The stories I wrote pre-2008 would never be written now. I have found another place to write from, a deeper place. A more experienced place. At the same time, I am trying to remember those places from which I wrote before because these are good, useful, fine places to dive into when writing.

***


Because of life and other environmental factors, I spent most of my adult life trying to be logical and think critically of everything. Being able to think logically and critically are good skills to have; however, if you're not careful logic and critical thinking can overpower creativity and the Dreamer's ability to take the first stab at a draft.

One of my goals for this year is to re-embrace the Dreamer and creator within myself when writing, and to let go of the logical critical thinking part of me for a little while. I'll bring her back in when it's appropriate, but for now we need some time apart.

She's logical enough that I think she'll understand.

Writing is about balance. It's about being creative and dreaming for yourself, and then bringing logic and critical thinking in as you open the door for the Writer and the Editor.

Writer 101 stuff, yeah, but it's something that's been easy for me to forget. And maybe we all need reminding of this stuff every so often.

***


And now it's time to work on my proposal before class tonight.

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albionidaho

January 2012

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