Robert Olen Butler, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, teaches graduate fiction at Florida State University — his version of literary boot camp. In From Where You Dream, Butler reimagines the process of writing as emotional rather than intellectual, and tells writers how to achieve the dreamspace necessary for composing honest, inspired fiction. Proposing that fiction is the exploration of the human condition with yearning as its compass, Butler reinterprets the traditional tools of the craft using the dynamics of desire. Offering a direct view into the mind and craft of a literary master, From Where You Dream is an invaluable tool for the novice and experienced writer alike.
I am reading this book for the third time in two months. As this book is an arrangement of transcripts of Butler’s lectures and classes, reading this book makes me feel like I am in school again, with the luxury of being able to sit back and contemplate each lesson as I go through them. Butler’s approach to writing is a good fit with how I write, and I love the idea of getting into the dreamspace. Since reading this book the first time in late November, I have been living with the characters in my new story, and I love it.
To see Butler in action, watch his series on Youtube, where he takes us through his creative process when writing a short story. There are 17 episodes, so make sure you have time to spare before trying to watch them all! Inside Creative Writing