Sunday, December 19, 2010

Guessing Games

As you might have guessed by now, dreaming a a large and influential part of my life. I've based my beliefs and faith around it, I base my art around it, I study it, and I study myself.

I very often try to reach out to people who are curious about dreams, which is why I eagerly share my research and my discoveries, as well as seek for those of others. Even another perspective nearly parroting my own can lead me to new insights.

I feel that artists who suffer from artist's block are simply not listening to themselves, as their minds and their bodies, in ways that are rarely fully understood, are telling them something. If I stall out on a story, especially on one based off a dream, I take steps to revisit that medium. Just as a portrait painter may glance back at their subject when the details in their memory become insufficient, so do I dive back into the dreamrealm to search for some detail that either I didn't hear from my characters the first time around, or they weren't ready to tell me.

Dreams repeated are as useful as a continuing sequence; the repition tells me I missed something that could lead me on to the next step in the story, something that might originally have seem inconsequential, but was actually key. This is where one of my greatest fallacies of writing comes to play: I want to write down every detail, such that the reader can see everything that I've seen, felt the way I feel, loved and hated the characters just as I do. Unfortunately, explaining such details, especially when it comes to emotions or scenery, it is best to draw out the lines and let the reader fill in the rest. If I allow them to create within the story, it's no longer mine alone. Their imagination can take a portion of the story for themselves, and as in my judgement of how good a story is, they can revel in their own fictions.

The hardest part, I've found, to being a writer is not deciding how much to tell the reader, but how little. So many stories have the potential to thrive (and have thrived) on no descriptions at all, simply stage direction, while others require a lot of structure and back-story. I'm still learning to differentiate between the two, and where my creations fall between those two extremes, but as with all of us, practice brings us closer to perfection.

Returning to dreams:
They are my inspiration, so, as much as I love playing around in the ultimate sandbox, I almost always let them run their course instead of interfering. Nightmares are naturally an exception to this, and though I almost always interfere with them to the best of my ability, they more often than not affect me until I've found some other medium to drown my imagination in. My imagination is a feral one, and I make no claims to be able to control it, sometimes to my benefit, sometimes... not so much.

Nonetheless, I have grown to know my mind, the way my thoughts interact with my imagination to create amazing and still terrifying string of thought, and I would not have it any other way.