If you are new to the workshop please start at
This is not about those books with swords and dragons and costumed heros you see occupying entire shelves at Borders. I have something else in mind, and you might as well know it now as later.
Fantasy, as approached here, occurs in every genre, and has always been a significant element of literature. While it could easily be argued that realistic writing (in fiction) is a relatively recent innovation, fantasy--in mythology, in folk tale, in dream--has always been an essential building block of story.
In these lessons, my emphasis is upon written
of a certain length. I hesitate to use the term "short story"
of its literary connotations, but short texts is what Storyarts is
about. Novels and other book length works belong in another and more
setting, and perhaps they are not the best place for inexperienced
to begin. The exercises presented here are meant for those who
to write, and are willing to learn while doing it.
Now for the first week's lesson.
Dream and the Imagination
In the first six week sequence of this workshop, there is a Page devoted to the dream. Even if you have already done this, click here, DREAM , and examine the exercises again. Be sure to read the opening remarks. Then return to Page 13.
Now do the "warmup" exercises, as listed below.
For dreamers: An object you saw in a
For dreamers: A dream that repeats
For dreamers: A dream that occurred only
Clearly, dreamers have the advantage here since they, should they wish, can both sets of warm-up exercises.
How to do it. If the images are fragmented, write them that way. Use the first person, present tense if at all possible. Write the whole dream/image and stop when it stops. No need to say "And then I woke up."
Let me make this very clear, by dream I mean a genuine night time dream, not a day dream, not the "dream" you have of someday becoming a famous writer. Only real dreams and really dreamlike experiences, please. Write as well as you can, but do not get bogged down. Save your greatest energy for the exercise which follows.