Guest post: Writing in the space between sleeping and waking

My guest in the House of Dreams this month is the author Alison Boyle, who attended one of my workshops a while ago. I love the idea of ‘writing in the space between sleeping and waking.’

Alison Boyle

In the space between sleeping and waking I found a way of expressing the internal voice of a main character in my latest book ‘from Pakistan to Preston’.

‘From Pakistan to Preston’

Most of the narrative is in the third person, and I’d been looking for a convincing internal voice for Tommy O’Reilly that exposed the indecisions whirring round his head. Tommy’s self-expressive flights, which I scribbled on scraps of paper at the moment they occurred to me and not a moment later, bring a change of tone and perspective to the story. Through this voice I hope that readers feel they understand – and feel – Tommy’s struggles in loving Sunehri Saleem.

The rest of the book is quite grounded, featuring the unusual work setting of an artificial silk factory in the North of England.

I found that the signposts in Jenny’s dream workshop allowed me to travel a little more confidently down some imaginative pathways I had only tentatively explored through my writing before. The biggest surprise was finding that her workshop didn’t activate a warning beep on my ‘Is this new age nonsense?’ monitor.

At the Manchester Literature Festival, Northern Debuts

from Pakistan to Preston by A.T. Boyle is published by Artificial Silk. You can see a 2-minute trailer here  and read about Alison’s event at the Manchester Literary Festival here

Have you ever found the answer to a creative conundrum in a writing workshop?

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