Monday, October 7, 2013

Dreams as Inspiration

Over the weekend, on one of those mornings where my husband and I lay in bed, drifting in and out of sleep and cuddles until we were both satisfied with the "sleeping in" experience, I had a series of dreams.

I can't remember what they were now, but I remember that one after the other after the other flowed together. That I was awed at how well the story fit together, even as it subtly changed with each plunge into REM.

I remember thinking that this was my next novel, or even series.

Man, I wish I could remember what it was.

I've used dreams before for stories. In middle school, I'd had a dream about a boy and his companion, and turned it into a very good story. I have dreams about tornadoes that have become short stories and poems. I dreamed of a long talk with my Pastor's wife, and that became a short story, too.

"Attack of the Bloodthirsty Lesbian" came from a dream.

And I'm not alone. Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Isabelle Allende, Edgar Allen Poe, and countless others use their dreams as inspiration for their fictions. And why not? Dreaming and writing are very similar. I know I am not the only author to "see" my characters interacting, to argue with them as one would in a dream. I am not the only author to reach a nearly hypnotic trance while writing; barely aware of my surroundings, lost in the story.

And, like dreams, often when you "wake up" from a writing session, you lose the thread of your story.

I was hoping that by writing this post, I would remember my dreams, but I still don't. Maybe someday they will rush back to me and I'll either say, "Yes! My next book series!" or I will say, "What was I thinking? That doesn't survive the light of day!"

What about you? Do you use your dreams as inspirations for your fiction? Do you remember your dreams every night?

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