And in my dream I was searching for this book for it could teach me how to write beautiful prose. This book was like a great grimoire of writing, it would reveal to me a secret that would make me the greatest writer in the world.
I eventually found the book on the top shelf of an old bookcase. The bookcase was in the middle of a dry forest between two broken trees. On the cover, in sepia tint, was a photo of an old woman’s face. it was leathery with many deep lines. I don’t remember the title. The cover looked familiar and reminded me of a book I might have read while still at university. I took it down and opened it, and saw this one line in the middle of an otherwise blank page:
“So she had lived, and had taken a husband, and settled the rest of her remaining days.”
Though a dream, I felt cheated and angry, but then I heard someone laughing. When I closed the book I saw the woman’s picture had come alive and she was cackling at my obvious disappointment. I told her I didn’t understand, how can she say this is the secret to great writing?
She replied, “Because I can. That is how I write. “
And because this was a dream I accepted her answer and placed the book back on the shelf, and left, but not before I reminded myself to go look for it on my real-world shelf when I wake up.
I searched for it today but didn’t find anything, and I don’t know what she meant, unless it’s not so deep as to be understood in any other way except the obvious, which is to write whatever you want because you can.
Not necessarily magic for success, I know, but there’s certainly some truth to it. This isn’t advice I didn’t know. Maybe it goes back to how you can break the rules if you know why you’re breaking them, otherwise don’t. Or it’s about challenging genre boundaries, or both. Or maybe it’s nothing. Just a simple dream I had because I’ve been writing nonstop and because I’ve been fretting about the quality of my writing.
Anyone have any ideas?
Oh, before I go. Today I received the new cover for the second book in the Guardians of the Seals series, formerly known as “The Worthless One”. I’ll show you guys later this week and reveal the final title of the book.
photo credit: magnusvk via photopin cc