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Writing in a dream

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It's been months since I did any fiction writing, and I wasn't very happy with the writing in the last thing I worked on. (I still think it'll be good in the end, but I wrote a partial first draft in which I gave myself permission for the writing to be bad, and it was.)

So in a dream I had just now, I was very pleased to finally be writing a story that I thought was good.

In the dream, I wrote the first section of a story. The words were flowing smoothly, things were going well.

At one point Kam wandered by and read a little bit over my shoulder. Normally I hate to have anyone look over my shoulder at anything I'm doing on a computer, but in this case it didn't bother me.

I continued writing. A couple paragraphs later, Jere7my wandered by and read a little bit over my shoulder. (Which also didn't bother me.) He pointed out that the second half of an earlier paragraph was boring and should be cut--"That should be a command-line option," he said.

I finished up the section I was working on, with a feeling of accomplishment, and looked at the paragraph in question. It went something vaguely like this:

[...] Underneath the opening bracket, he typed "foo -c bar blah blah [or rather, there was a UNIX command here that made sense in the context of the story]". He could have typed "foo_secure -c bar blah blah" if he had wanted greater security, but [...]

So, yes, the second half of the paragraph was boring and should have been a command-line option, so I cut it. (I possibly should have cut the first half too.) Thanks, j7y!

Moments later, I woke up, with no memory at all of the story or what it had been about, except as described above. Sigh.

I'm comforting myself with the thought that I've seen over and over that my dream-self has a lousy idea of what constitutes a good story. It used to happen fairly often that I would have a long convoluted dream, and I would think (either as it was happening or just before waking up) "Wow, this would make a great story!" And when I woke up, I would write down what I could remember of it. And later I would come back to it to think about turning it into a story and would discover that it was either total gibberish or, more often, that it just made a terrible story.

But I don't think I've ever dreamed the process of actually sitting at a keyboard and writing before. And this time when I woke up, it just felt like a waste--I could have spent that time writing something that wasn't going to instantly disappear, y'know?

I'm trying to remind myself that, given that I was asleep, the chances that I could have used that time for anything productive were slim.

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