Monday, July 2, 2012

Dreams and Nightmares (and Brit)

"A dream within a dream."
-The Princess Bride

Writing is, I think, putting a dream on paper (or screen). It's taking the stuff of visions and nightmares and random neuron firings that wake us up going 'OMG!' and making something the whole world can share and go 'OMG' with us.

Most of my best stories have come from dreams of one sort or another. And I have a few 'big fish stories' of waking up with my mind full of this dream that was beyond amazing, trying to hold on to the memory so I could write it down, and having it get away.

But if the story is the dream, than the process of creating, fleshing out, writing the story is another dream. The dream of our dream, if you will. I dream of sharing my dreams, of turning them into masterpieces of word and meaning.

Unfortunately, this dream frequently turns into a nightmare! Making the pieces of a story stand forth to be clearly seen and written as a coherent whole, resembles taking a handful of cotton candy and rearranging it into straight, even rows. Gah!

After years of ending up with cotton candy on my shirt, in my hair, all over my hands, and pretty much everywhere except the neat rows I was going for, I finally (and partly by luck) discovered some tools that have made the process of writing so much easier there are no words. If you are one of those lucky bastards and bitches who can turn your ideas into stories without major prep work, my hat goes off to you. I, apparently, am not.

Having discovered some great writing tools, it turns out I am having a lot of fun with them - finally, writing a story is not just a masochistic exercise in obsession, but something I am really enjoying.

The other day I was experimenting with the great Character Chart from Filling it out, I discovered something fun and kinda cute about one of my fave characters:

I know you have sausage.
Mattin had been looking all over the manor for Brit. He finally found the older man in one of the back corridors, crouched in a corner. 
Brit whirled around, eyes wide. A black kitten poked it's head around his boot.
"Mattin... I, ah..." Brit stood up, stuffing a piece of sting in his pocket. "You needed something?"
The kitten tried to jump for the dangling tail of the string. Brit pushed it away. "Pest, get out of here!"
"I thought you didn't like cats?"
Brit started, "I didn't... don't... can't stand the vermin." Brit strode off down the corridor, "What did you need."
Mattin shook his head, watching the persistent cat try and pounce on Brit's boot.
"I, that is, Mistress Jahleen is looking for you."
Brit nodded, and turned towards the Mistress' rooms. Just outside, he stopped to glare at Mattin. "Not. One. Word."
Mattin shook his head, and pretended not to notice the kitten, still following Brit into the Mistress' study.

Brit loves cats, but he refuses to admit it. Which doesn't keep everyone in the manor from knowing his 'secret.'

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