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Writing Tip: Writing through your dreams


Have you ever had a dream that you were sure was real? That even upon waking, you can’t trust yourself to know which one is fantasy? You feel it in your body. It’s the belabored breathing, the brick in your stomach, the hands that shake, the sleep still pulling at your eyes to stay closed, trying to return you to that other world. Regardless if its nightmare or fantasy, the dream holds you like wet clothes in a warm rainstorm, and you can only wake once you realize that the real world is the one where you are warm and safe in your bed.


As a writer, dreams are a Sour Patch kid; sweet in the moment but sour when you can’t remember them fully. It’s the fullness of the dream that stays with us. And that’s the windmill in the wind that we’re trying to capture in our writing. We are Don Quixote, we are Monty Python seeking the holy grail, we are Liesel escaping the watchful eyes of Death, we are riders on the ship of the Starless Sea. We can attempt this in our writing by giving our reader the details. Rich, luminous details that connect the reader to their senses, plunge them into the story with no hope of coming to the surface.


Laugh at this meme and then use it to practice. Finish the sentence, “When the glove…”. Write a poem about a glove. Tell me in what circumstances the reader needs to know about the glove. Make us feel it, see it, breathe it. Fill the page with your details and make your writing come alive.

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