Friday, June 21, 2013

Writing Exercise: Dreaming

In a recent writing exercise, our group used this prompt: You realize you have been dreaming. Recreate your dream in detail on paper.

I remember almost none of my dreams. When I wake up, sometimes I remember my dream for about five minutes. Very soon, all of what happened leaves my mind. I couldn't rely on experience, I had to make something up...
The conversation had been going so well. Donald and I introduced ourselves and we talked a bit about this and that. He had an accent I couldn't place, but it wasn't so thick that I had trouble understanding his words or his meaning. We fell into talking about work.
Donald was an actor from the old days. He'd played lots of roles, good guys and bad guys. He went back to the time of the studio system when actors were contract players. He'd stayed at one studio the whole time, becoming a staple in both feature length films and shorts. He'd been drawn to physical comedy early on in his career. He managed to stay in great shape and kept up a long run of comedies.
In the seventies, he did a lot of TV work. He'd never had his own series but had many guest appearances on a variety of shows. Stars, both major and minor, floated around various sitcoms and crime dramas then. Nowadays, he was enjoying a revival of his career in children's shows. With the cable TV explosion, the old studio now had its own network and was bringing back the stars of yesteryear in new programs for a new, younger audience.
That's when I realized I was talking to a duck. What kind of party was this? No alcohol was being served; no "recreational" drug use was going on. This was strictly a chips and soda affair, run by the network. THE network. Disney. But their characters were fictional, weren't they? How was I talking to Donald Duck? Why couldn't I see it earlier? The sad truth is that I hadn't seen him. I couldn't see him, just talk to him. I've learned something new about myself. They say some people dream in black and white. I dream in radio! That accent should have been a dead giveaway.
 If I was doing a re-write, I'd probably focus on adding animation related words and metaphors if I could. The only one I had was "drawn to physical comedy." The group was split on understanding what I meant by "dream in radio." I wonder if people do dream only in sound and not in images and sound. It's an interesting idea to me but I don't know what other way to use it in a story. "Dreams of the Blind" is an evocative title but I don't know where I'd go with it.

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