Tuesday, August 21, 2012

letterbox edges and dreams

I don't know if this happens to other writers.
Not always, but often enough that I can say it happens, I have a dream with a letterbox edge along the bottom--as if for subtitles. Across this black edge a hand writes what's happening in the dream. Stage directions, description, lines of dialogue. It's not like a play. It's prose.
Sometimes the hand scratches out words and the scene has to start over again. A character gets axed or dialogue rewritten. The hand doesn't write quickly, but at an unhurried, flowing pace. Action happens at an ordinary pace too. The hand can keep up because it doesn't record everything, only what it decides is pertinent. Somehow--in dream reality--it all works out.
I don't think I'm the person writing the dream. I feel more like the person responsible for getting it down. When I have a dream like this, I wake feeling tired. You bet.
Since I write first draft longhand, I'm not surprised by the pen. However, I'm left-handed, and the dreams are always written with the right hand and in a script that is not mine. I can't get a good look at the hand because it's always moving, writing. Don't know if it's mine.


  1. I have never, EVER heard of this, and it is fascinating.

    People I trust keep telling me the craziest things about their dreams, and if they (i.e. in this case, YOU) were anyone else, I wouldn't believe them! It's just too fantastic.

    I am avidly interested in dreams, but I am an only a B to B+ dreamer at best.

  2. I've talked to people who have voice-overs narrating their dreams. Someone told me once that she dreams in sepia colours only.

    My dreams get more vivid and Dali-esque when I'm writing lots. Though, on a plot level, they might not rate more than B to B+, and on a character level... Nah. Pretty flat. It's the set designs, shape-shifting, and choreography that scores.