Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Writing Dreams

Been having lots of intense, vivid dreams lately--both pleasing and not so pleasing, which has led me to decide that the protagonist of my sci-fi novel is going to be a lucid, prophetic dreamer--she dreams of things that are going to happen, is able to interact with the future, etc. This will take place in a world very far from our own where dreams are not as common as they are here, where the human ability to dream will be rare and therefore cherished. Still working out all the details of this, but I think it'll come together nicely.

I realized that--aside from writing down my own dreams now and then (I actually did used to keep a dream journal next to my bed a few years ago and recorded almost all of my dreams there every morning), I've never written a fictionalized dream sequence. Sure, I've watched plenty of them in movies (most of them bad), but I haven't read many of them in books. So I decided to buy Chitra Divakaruni's newest book, Queen of Dreams as a starting place for this search for well-written dream sequences.

In other reading news, I'm still working on finishing another of Chitra's books (they're quite addictive), 'Vine of Desire', a sequel to Sister of My Heart, which was a real page-turner. I've put Delaney's Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand on hold for now, because I made the mistake of picking up Octavia Butler's Wild Seed' when I saw her read a couple weeks ago and I haven't been able to put it down since. I know now why everyone in the room applauded when she mentioned the book at the reading.

And I've enjoying reading, intermittently, when I need some soul-stirring poetry, I pick up In the Country of My Dreams' by Elmaz Abinader.

If anyone has any suggestions for books with good dream sequences in them, please do share. And maybe the fact that there's a full moon out tonite will give me some lunar inspiration.



Anonymous said...

This isn't a book, but I think it's a great example not just of surrealism as it appears in art and pop culture, but of how dreams actually seem to work. I know you've seen it, cuz I watched it with you, lo those many years ago. But I'll mention it in case you forgot. Dr. Seuss' "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T". It has this wonderful "stream-of-consciousness" thing going which is of course, implicit in dreaming. As an added bonus, you get dreaming from a kids perspective, where everything touched upon is from a kids perspective, only including things that a kid could or would understand, emphasizing only what is important or real to a kid. i.e. a mother's love, need of a father figure, lack of female playmates, scary childhood interpretations of words the child doesn't fully understand, as in "atomic". It's certainly worth a looksee.


Leny said...

Hi, Rona -
I'm also reading "Wild Seed" and my class has just finished The "Parable of the Sower;" I've also picked up "Dawn." I've also kept a dream journal (and included some of them in "A Book of Her Own." I didn't know Butler was in town -- but one of my students made a copy of her NPR interview on Nov. 11. Don't you just love the way she can combine history and "fiction"? I call it shamanism...