literary_equine (literary_equine) wrote,

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How's This For An Opening? (On Dreams, Archetypes, And Writing)

The Silvanus House has a will and the Silvanus House has a way.

It also has rooms and halls and doors and age, but one thing the Silvanus House does not have are ghosts.

What it does have are memories and yet, in the early morning hours, I sometimes wonder if ghosts and memories may simply be the same.

And the house is filled with memories. So much so, we who live within these walls feel Silvanus House must be timeless with reminiscence. Yet, that cannot be so. County records show it was built in 1846 by Merrill DuBois.

I am the founder's great grandson and the people in the village below call me the master of Silvanus House.

This is not true. Silvanus House answers to a greater Master than I.

Interested to read more? First, let me tell you the story behind this opening.

It came from a dream.

I have the fortune of being a lifelong, vivid dreamer and as a writer, I sometimes (read "rarely) use my nocturnal meanderings as the subjects or setting of my stories. However, and I want to warn beginning writers of this, I would never, ever use a dream as a story in itself.

Dreams come to us when we are at our most defenseless using archetypal symbols that are mostly subjective. That is why it is so difficult to convey the impact a dream has had on you to others. The common ground of reference just isn't there.

But what great writers do use of their dreams are those universal archetypes which transcend individuality to those that affect the human race as a whole.

If what I wrote above moves you to curiosity in any way and a desire to read more, it is because I stripped the dream of anything that spoke to me personally leaving behind only what is common between the two of us.

And how did I know what to keep and what to discard? Well, I confess for years I have read books upon books on the role of archetypes in counseling (think Carl Jung), but it has all been boiled down for you in one book:

The Key, by James N. Frey

Write on, and write on more powerfully!

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