The Reality of Dreams...

    So, back to our "dream studies" as they relate to the fiction craft. The question is, "What makes a dream memorable?" Because I am chasing down a hunch, here, that the words dream and book may be interchangeable. If so, we could be onto something exciting, but it is still too soon to tell. Let's start with a closer look at realities...

    The most common phrase when one is relating a memorable dream to someone else is, "It was so real!" By this they usually mean that the physical perceptions were so vivid that they actually physically responded to them. Was it something scary? They may have woke up trembling. Was it something happy? They got up feeling good all over. Or maybe they saw someone or something so clearly that they could only exclaim, "Why, I would recognize them, again, anywhere!" And they could.

    What is it about certain dreams that fire up all our senses to such an extent that they cause our brain to register on the same level as an actual experience? Whatever it is, the discovery of such a key might be something of an "Aladin's lamp" to the gateway of great literature. But like that famous mystical lamp, it isn't so easy to get into your possession. A lot has been written about the importance of sensory detail in fiction. But how many of us readers have been so bogged down by boring descriptions that we find ourselves skipping over those parts? It can't just be in the details.

    It' must be in the choice of details.

    In order to make the right choice, though, there would have to be some sort of criteria to sort through to help us decide. For choices in the fiction profession there are certain skills involved. Same as any other profession. For instance, one would not use a putting iron for a long drive in the game of golf, no matter how comfortable they felt with it. Simply because it would be the wrong tool for the job. The wrong choice under those circumstances. And one cannot choose the most suitable tool for a given situation until they know exactly what they are aiming to do with it. Only then can they figure out what they need to do it successfully.

    Oh, but this is a can of worms we've opened up, simply because of all the variables. If our Aladin is approaching the den of thieves, do we describe the little half-moons of sweat beginning to show beneath the sleeves of his shirt after such a long trek over hot desert? Or should we say, instead, how suddenly the hair on the back of his neck prickled up to alert him that someone else was watching? Well, hmmm... is it a comedy or suspense? Who would even notice the half-moons unless he had some princess tagging along? Certainly, none of the thieves.

    Even we writers can be tripped up over such details, because a good writer can write it well either way. Take it one step further and you can flit back and forth. But (unless you are a genius) that usually only spells disaster. Not so much to publishers. They will be happy as long as you meet their deadlines and maintain your audience. But to the readers, themselves.

     Of course, the loyal ones won't notice it right away. They will simply become more distracted over a period of time, only to end up vulnerable to some other author who has been paying more attention to his skills. One who knows without taking regular surveys whether he is better at comedy, or suspense, and makes his choices accordingly.

    A writer cannot pick the best details to connect any given project with the reading world until he knows what his own particular element is. Because that is where his skill levels will be highest. That is where the endurance needed to go the distance will not abandon him halfway through. One must at least know themselves well enough to recognize whether the material has been tampered with by muses or demons overnight. A demanding skill that takes a lot of practice to become adept at.

   You have to understand the reality of your dreams.

What's happening on the farm today: Our travels are going to be hard on the Peabody family, as none of the caretakers really like them. It is because of their pea-sized brains. Little brains that are incapable of being able to distinguish a friend from a foe. So, they only run at shadows. The trouble is, everything and everybody has a shadow. Especially caretakers!

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