Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dreams of Inspiration?

Well, FB is one of those things that Writer's Digest keeps saying every writer should have, so dutiful me, I have one.
 (You all knew this, I'm sure.)

 Anyway, like every writer out there says, it is a huge time warp, as in, "Where did that time go? I was only on here a second!"

 A lot of times I find it rather boring, as people I don't know talk to people I barely, kinda know, and post pictures for people I've never met. (Though interesting, in a mild way.)

 Other times, they post LOL Cats, which leave me laughing insanely over the keyboard, and get me strange looks from those around me.

 And other times, writerly minds connect to form sparkly links that fizz with electricity over the fragile strands of the interwebs, and new and super-fun discussions take place. Even if they're just a rapid fire few moments in the comments.

I love it when this happens. 
 Absolutely LOVE IT!

 Hannah S. recently reported having a weird dream, complete with protagonist, concerning mannikins that weren't as static as they usually seem; and I thought, "Wow! I love it when that happens to me!"
 (I also think she should slap that plot line down  pronto before it slips away!)

 This got me thinking about dreams; their nearness to (and differences from) our daydreams, and where we go when we read a good book that carries us away.

 So I commented to Hannah:
 "I think a lot of folks have indeed used dreams as their inspiration. You could get at least a short story out of this one! I once had a really vivid, heart pounding sci-fi dream, I woke up, thought "Wow! That was vividly heart-pounding, and all made sense!" ...realized it was sabbath and I didn't have to work... got on the computer and didn't get off 'til it was dark.
 [I don't know how late it was... but I was so, so wanting to leave that keyboard!]

  I wrote thirteen thousand words that day, because I knew if I stopped I'd forget some of the details. And the next day was a busy work day again, so I had one shot and one shot only.
 I really, really wanted to quit several times, but I didn't let myself do it!"

 This is, I think,  my over all record word-count-per-day.
   Scratch that.
     I know it is!

 I have to work writing in at odd angles into my life, and when inspiration strikes I can do desperate things. Lots of times, I have to try to hold on to the images for hours on end until I am free to snag a computer.  Which has mixed results.
 And I usually don't hold myself hostage for a full day's stretch. It sort of results in a insulted creative brain.
 (I couldn't even look at a printed page for days afterward, as my mind recovered... with many surly snarls.)

 But I got that plot line.

 And later; I revised, edited, smoothed.
 And someday I will do something with it.
 (It kind of feels like the opening to an action packed, sci-fi novel... which knowing me, you probably could have guessed. I have difficulty writing short.)

 What about you?

     Do you use dreams? Or do you know of authors who did?

 Tell us! I know there must be more to be said!

6 comments:

Mary Ruth Pursselley said...

I don't have FB, but I know what you mean about those magical moments when authors' brains start spinning their creative threads together... Like you said, "LOVE it!"
My dreams are usually too nonsensical and bizarre to be much use as story material, but there have been one or two times - one in particular that stands out - when I've dreamed up a story line, or at least the foundation for one. It was a pretty cool feeling to wake up from a full night's rest with a brand new story idea as a bonus!

Elizabeth K. said...

That's it exactly, Mary Ruth! :-) Experiencing the dream was fun in itself, and then you get to pounce of writing-fodder as well. ;-)
Conversations with fellow "story spinners" can have the most uplifting and inspiring moments!
Sadly, I don't have the opportunity for many of those in person, so the internet has been a goldmine of writerly connections for me. Case in point, this blog! And you leaving your lovely comment, like a drop of encouraging rain straight into the downspout to my creative brain.
So.... Thanks for connecting! Thanks very, very much! :-)
And I'd love to hear what your dream was about. Those can come up with the wildest, and most amazing, combinations!

Mary Ruth Pursselley said...

You're most welcome. : )
Since you asked, here's a quick rundown of my dream:
I had just been employed by this massive futuristic/sci-fi-ish company of some kind. I have no idea what the company actually did, but I was hired for the Research and Development department. Part of the hiring process was some kind of brain scan that determined your strong points and abilities. Mine showed up off-the-charts strong in creativity but lacking in math ability (not that far from the truth!), so much so that they paired me with an android as my on-the-job partner. Their reasoning was that my brain was totally outside the box and creative while his was 100% mathematical and inside the box, so I could come up with the crazy new development ideas while he did the math to make them work.
The longer I worked with him, though, the more human he started seeming. My employers assured me that it was how the computer in his brain was programmed: to observe humans and evolve accordingly to become more human-like. Being a Christian, I knew that couldn't be true, but that was the only explanation I could get from anyone... until my partner the android explained it to me himself and revealed that he was really a human and that being made into an android was not his choice.
That was where the dream ended and I woke up... but my 'off-the-charts creativity' took over from there, and there are two stories waiting to be written from it!

Elizabeth K. said...

Oooooh!
I Love it!
That is a great premise. How many words has it gotten to at this time? That's got enough umph to sustain a novel, I'm thinking!
Let me know if you need a beta reader! ;-)

Thanks so much for sharing!
Isn't sci-fi just so much fun? :-)

Elinor Ferrars said...

What a great discussion! I've had at least two dreams that I thought would make good stories - one was sci-fi about a giant scorpion (*shudders*), but I just wrote the plot down and don't plan to write the story because I don't write sci-fi; the other was me as an ancient Irish princess. I loved that one and started a story, fleshing it out as I went along, though the important details were all there.
As far as authors who used dreams, I googled that question and found out that Robert Louis Stevenson dreamt of a doctor with split personality disorder and Mary Shelley dreamt of a corpse coming back to life! Interesting stuff. I'd like to know about more famous books inspired by dreams!

Elizabeth K. said...

Thanks for chiming in, Elinor!
That is very interesting about those two authors. I suspected that there had to be more of that going on in the writerly world than I was immediately aware of, since those creative/wordy types can get pretty wild in the mind!
And, yes, that Irish princess story sounds very nice! :-) Let me know if you finish it off!
Have a good and writerly day!
Elizabeth