Alien Childhood

Phew! that’s the first exercise completed.

The brief was to make notes of a dream, and re-write them so that each phrase is placed on a new line.

For some reason dreams never seem to stick in my memory so I wrote about a recurring dream I had as a child. In summary, the dream involved confronting aliens on the upstairs landing of my childhood home. The only way to escape from them was to jump from the top stair down. I never ever reached the bottom of the stairs, going into free-fall until the moment I suddenly woke up.

After redrafting the piece three times, I have ended up with the following;

Awoken from a deep sleep, greeted only by darkness.
A sudden scratching, a cat trying to get in?
My heart races, pounds.
Torchlight illuminates the stair landing.
Alien faces everywhere from another world, another planet.
I’m trapped in a silent movie.
Deadly silence as my brain switches into survival mode, desperately seeking an escape plan.
Free-falling, I fly through the air.

There’s more work to do on this and the piece could be developed into a poem or provide the framework for a short story. The process highlighted for me the importance of making every word count. As Seamus Heaney recently said in the November 2015 edition of Writing Magazine, (p.20);

“As a writer you need to use words effectively; to make every word count. If you filter out the rubbish, but take on board the good stuff -words or phrases, or ways of using words, that strike a chord with you – you may come across something you can adapt for use in your own writing.”

Other learning points are that I must stop watching Dr.Who and, in case any psychiatrists read this, I need to  go ex-directory.

7 Comments

I confess, I have never watched Dr Who, much to the bafflement of friends. 🙂
Interesting dream. Do you still ever dream of flying?

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Why on God’s Green Earth and in Poseidon’s Blue Seas would ANYONE want to watch LESS Doctor Who? Mr D!

Nonetheless, moving forward through your back catalog, I hope to run into this piece evolved. Seems a fun start to something. Heaney’s point is excellent, in all aspects of life. However, sometimes I fear that this one critique point dominates the workshop world and leads the problem of writing rather than lags. When letting the emotions free of their cage, we tend to cut words before the emotions are expressed rather than after and it causes writer’s blockage! And then obsessively applied, we tend to forget the real emotions involved in the original writing. Still, efficiency is essential.

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    I agree with your view M. S. Sometimes when writing poetry the first stuff to flow onto the paper is the emotion packed version. I think when we edit we sometimes lose the emotion and our fears become the editor. If we edit too much then it takes the form of a different piece of poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

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