Lying lucid, part I: Road Trip Writing
Do you ever lie lucidly in bed, exploring abstract thoughts and ideas of brilliance deep within an unconscious sleep state, while a touch of consciousness hovers, speculating with intrigue? I hope you have experienced this nifty occurrence, and have come to support it for all its lucid wallowing wonder.
Freshly awakening, I often remain half asleep–eyes closed, half conscious and a mind that isn’t sure if it’s in a dream or reality state. Some of my most colorful thinking comes under such lucid influence, as dreams linger with details soon to be erased from memory (revisit for Lying lucid, part II to delve into dreamy instances of profound intelligence and shifty consciousness).
Many thoughts that pass will be forgotten, even if a ‘mental note’ is made to remember them, and the half conscious mind takes over if I wake to take physical note, while the train of ensuing subconscious thoughts will be lost, so consciousness hangs back, grasping what it can from a side of thinking it never observes.
Every now and again, however, there are ideas that stick. Why some do and some don’t–nobody knows. Nevertheless, some endure, accompanying you into reality. Even if you think you’ll remember later, once awake, it’s encouraged to note these particularly slippery thoughts that prove all to often to poof out of your mind, leaving you only with the thought that you had a thought that you wanted to remember.
Now I’ll explore a lucid idea that withstood into the vertical world of perception, which I hope provides some inspiration and guidance for both those of you who do and do not write–techniques aimed in one direction often can be applied in others.
Lying lucid in bed this morning, I envisioned writing in the context of taking a road trip.
Here’s a six-point breakdown of Road Trip Writing:
- Rough guide. Lay out a rough, guiding plan, complete with significant stops, where to sleep, friends to visit and maybe an attraction or two you must see.
- This is your writing outline, complete with a goal and enough information to get you either there, or onto the path, which leads there. Maybe you’ll even have a few alternate routes you’re considering taking, but will wait until you reach that point to decide whether or not to pursue.
- Mental preparedness. It’s a road trip–it should be fun. Therefore you go into the process with an open mind expecting adventure and good times, encouraging you see the bright side and continue your journey.
- Important in writing, you want to maintain a robust mind state. Letting a down mood and/or negative thoughts impede on a process offering lengths of intellectual nourishment is not welcomed. Seeing your writing as something to be enjoyed, like a road trip, you’re more inclined to surpass average depth and seek the most fruit from every situation.
- Characters. Friends, strangers, someone–other passengers are a key ingredient adding zest to a road trip. They are your companions along the way, sharing the ride and experiences, while offering unique points of view, needs, wants and stirring things up. The more the merrier–to a degree.
- Your writing co-travelers are your characters. Some of these guys are with you through the whole experience and you can really bond, while others are just a couple people you met at a restaurant, a friend you visit for a couple days or anyone else along the way adding texture to the journey.
- Setting and scene. The car becomes your temporary home, while scenes and setting change as you pass through varied landscape, rural and urban areas, strange pit stops and towns. Everywhere you go provides a sense of change and movement keeping things interesting.
- These correlate to the settings and scenes you create and travel through during yourwriting journey. During a road trip, these will inevitably unravel as long as you continue on. In writing, you need to actively create these situations, but as long as you keep writing, they will more or less begin to come and go naturally as you move towards your destination.
- The unexpected. The car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, you get a flat tire, someonebreaks in while staying in a city, there’s an accident, a co-traveler reveals a hidden agenda or surprise itinerary, you meet people who invite you somewhere–many unexpected things are, or ought to be expected from a road trip. These keep you guessing and maintain a suspense-filled ride.
- Conflict, hooks, twists, surprises and the like are essential to hold reader’s attention. To keep readers turning the pages, it helps if you’re hooked while you write. You’re living this journey first hand with a free role to manipulate its course–take advantage and keep it interesting for yourself. Try to conjure up the unexpected as you progress and really spice up the writing process.
- Deviate. Part of any good road trip is that outside of this roughly guiding itinerary, you must plan on deviating from the plan, while searching for action and intrigue along the way. This goes hand in hand with the unexpected.
- Looking at your novel’s outline in such a way allows you to write with outlined intent, but keeps you writing with an adventurous mind thinking where else the story could take a turn and build off the unexpected. It helps to have a plan, but don’t be scared to scrap it. This way you know you’ll reach your end, but are continually stimulated by what route may come to entice.
Looking at your novel’s outline in such a way allows you to write with outlined intent, but keeps you writing with an adventurous mind thinking where else the story could take a turn and build off the unexpected. It helps to have a plan, but don’t be scared to scrap it. This way you know you’ll reach your end, but are continually stimulated by what route may come to entice.
Although this technique may best apply to fictional writing, it can no doubt be applied to various degrees within any style, any project, towards any destination.
Please share comments. I’m interested to hear this will linger in any of your writing, or if you apply the concept to another area of life or work, and if so, what?
Part II will delve into an interesting realm of dreaminess, while offering tips on how to prolong a shifty lucid dream state–expect it within a week.