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.