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So far, we have mostly discussed creative writing as if the only option were realism. When discussing memory in the previous chapter, we began to branch out with the idea that memory can bend or reshape the reality we lived through, telescoping time or combining memories, even inventing memories. Yet the primary basis for this material came from and was judged against the real world to a greater or lesser degree. Realism isn’t the only option a writer has, though. With enough imagination, the written word can take us places that don’t or even can’t exist. One model for this kind of invention can come from the world of dreams. Dreams are familiar. Everyone has them, though some remember their dreams more than others. We all know more or less how dreams operate. They seem real while we are in them, yet we know they are not. Sometimes we even realize we are dreaming while we are still in the dream, yet the experience of the dream still is vivid. Dreams operate on their own kind of logic. They defy the rational logic of the waking world and instead follow an irrational, associative logic that only makes sense within the context of the dream. You may be talking to one person one minute in a dream and then suddenly realize it is someone else. You may walk out of your house in the dream and end up, not in your front yard, but beside a castle or a waterfall. The familiar and the fantastical are often combined in seemingly endless patterns until the dream plays out or the dreamer awakes.
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