Monday, October 26, 2009

Nightmares, scary or good ideas?

I had a horrible, terrifying nightmare the other night that still lives vividly in my brain. It was unique for me though. I do have nightmares often enough. In fact, most all of the dreams that I do remember are full of zombies and dead bodies. This one was different, which is why it was so unique. I didn’t dream of my regular scary creatures. This one was something I’d never dreamt of before. Although, it was deadly enough, it was almost funny at the same time.

I can’t even begin to describe the creature in my dream. It was a combination of Puff the magic dragon and platypus. It ran around town eating people, between bouts of swimming in the ocean, where we had a fabulous view looking down from our upper level apartment. Don’t ask me why, because I live no where near the ocean. Maybe we were on vacation, who knows. At any rate, I was terrified when it tore through the buildings eating people left and right while I was trying to keep track of my family members to make sure they weren’t eaten as well.

I’ve been thinking about this dream for the last couple of days and considering what an interesting story it would make. I know a lot of writers get ideas from their dreams, which is something I’ve never really done. Most of my story ideas come from other aspects of my life. But, this dream was so clear and vivid, and in full color, that it would definitely be something I could recreate if I wanted to.

I get most of my ideas from…

  • Something I saw on TV
  • A snippet of a song from the radio
  • A comment someone makes
  • Watching strangers in public
  • Out of nowhere, an idea just pops in my head
  • Conversations with other writers
  • Brainstorming questions
  • Coming up with a character first, then throwing them into odd situations
  • Etc, etc, etc (this list could go on and on)

So, I was wondering, do you use your dreams for storylines? What kind of dreams do you use? Are you like me and rarely dream, or do you have awesome, vivid dreams on a nightly basis? Share your thoughts with me and let me know what you think.


MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott/Kate Davison said...

Yes, I do!!! A lot!!! My book Immorati came from a dream I had about werewolves, though in the book, I changed them to The Jesery Devil. (I wanted something unique to offer the reader).

Maybe your creature could be Ogo Pogo, or Champ -two of the lesser known lake monsters that are here in North America. I think Nessie would be too overdone. - Just a thought.

(Don't get me started on crytids...I could talk about them all day! Love 'em.)

My philosophy is that if your dreams are that vivid and memorable, then you should go with it. Sometimes it's only a snippet from one you can use, other it's an entire plot. I've got at least 6 ideas currently on deck now that came from dreams. Maybe more than that - one short bit from a dream spurred a three book series.

Rock on!


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