|Happy for percolating...coffee and ideas!|
I had a creative writing teacher once who said that all (interesting) dialogue is an argument--the interaction serves as a way for each of the characters to make his/her point. Somehow, the characters need to be coming at the conversation from slightly different angles, and then they duke it out until they agree. Or until the killer jumps out from the bushes. Or the world ends. Or they start kissing, I don't know.
In any case, in my dream, I had to write the scene I had been working on before I fell asleep last night, a scene that has been giving me a wee bit of trouble for some time (or...just possibly, one scene in a long string of scenes that have been tormenting me and filling me with paralyzing and agonizing waves of self-doubt about my worth as a writer and indeed as a human being...but anyway, that's not relevant), and instead of allowing me to wallow about in a restful sleep, my brain kept putting me through these dialogue exercises.
Okay, said my brain, or some cruel dream-time taskmaster, write the scene except Darin doesn't believe anything that Cass says.
And in my sleep, I did it. I held it up, shiny and perfect. "NOW can I sleep, please?"
Now write the scene except Darin doesn't believe anything Cass says, BUT he doesn't want her to know that he doesn't believe her.
I mean, sure, I can do that. Dream-writing elissa writes in her dream. Sleep now?
Now write the scene except Darin doesn't believe her, he doesn't want her to know, but she suspects that he doesn't believe her and not only does this make her angry but it reminds her of the way her brother spoke to her earlier that day and she realizes, with suprise, that he didn't believe her either.
Yikes. Okay...dreambrain working working working...the alarm ticking on toward an abrupt and painfully noisy conclusion...YES! There! Perfect! Dream-writing elissa feels a bit smug. A bit...genius.
Now make her start to doubt herself, but hide that from him.
Now make her hide that from herself.
Arghhhhh! The alarm sounds. Groggy elissa swims up out of the murky waters of dialogue exercises, disappointed that she didn't actually write all those perfect conversations in real life...maybe it's enough that she did it in her dreams.