Have you ever had a dream that keeps popping up from time to time? I have, and it generally goes like this:
- I am 14 years old, have a piano exam that same day and I haven’t practised.
- I am at uni, about to sit the final calculus exam (it’s always mathematics for some reason) and I hadn’t attended any of the classes or done any of the practice exercises.
- I am standing in front of a live audience, about to sing a song, and I don’t know many of the words.
The last one actually happened to a few of us in a choir once, so it’s perhaps not that big a leap.
But what do you think this means? That I like to be prepared for something? I suppose it’s worth stating the obvious. But why then, do I often do just as well at something with little preparation time at all?
Let’s not overthink that one.
Wanting to be in control comes to mind.
It is true that in fiction, dreams often give readers a really good insight into a character or her back-story, without having to give too much away at once and to describe something that should stay a little vague for a while. But I try and use it sparingly.
Now that I have my first book under the belt, I feel a bit more confident in my decisions to include or exclude something in my writing. With Words for Anna, I probably would have analysed a dream scene for days, only to cut it altogether. But don’t get me wrong – structure is still my friend.
I don’t know whether I would be here without it. At least not what my first published book and this post is concerned:
Next post – done.