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Dream a Little Dream …

February 4, 2015
My sleepy and not-so-organised notes.

My sleepy and not-so-organised notes.

I woke up this morning with an idea. I do that often. But this one was different.

I never know what to reply when people ask me where or how I get my ideas. I don’t know how I come across when I stare blankly at the person who asked or counter the question with, “I don’t know how not to.” But it’s true, and I think it is for a lot of writers. I don’t consciously get ideas. I don’t know exactly where they come from. Well, sometimes I can backtrack and find a source of inspiration, and now and then I’ll feel that something inspires me although I don’t really know where the inspiration is going.

What I do know is that I normally have an idea for a character (usually the main protagonist) before the story comes along. Those characters often come fully formed with a personal backstory in addition to their personality and looks, and I tend to go from there, explore their world, the people around them and finally their story. And if things look promising, I begin writing.

Occasionally, I’ll get the idea for a concept rather than a story. Those ideas are the ones I rarely turn into writing, and if I do, they tend to be short stories or flash fiction because longer stories are usually very character-driven for me. I have a few on the backburner – a world, a certain type of character, or a concept that I would like to use at some point, but haven’t found the right story for yet.

Finally, just once in a while, I get the kind of idea that I had this morning. Now, a lot of my dreams have stories and characters in them. Sometimes I wake up excited because they felt like fantastic ideas and five minutes later, they turn out not to be very good anyway, but sometimes they make sense and I can use parts of them for a story. Now and then they are additions to stories I’m already working on and make a few pieces of the puzzle come together for me.

But this one was different. It’s happened before, but it’s been ages. Today I woke up from a dream with an almost complete story. It came with a plot, a set of characters, several of them with names and backstory attached to them, a setting and even a title. I think it would fit a slightly younger audience than I usually write for. Genre-wise … Is there such a thing as “contemporary rural fantasy”? If there is, then that’s probably it.

As soon as I woke up, I jotted down the ideas. I don’t know if I’ll write the whole story. I want to, but I’m too busy editing to spend a whole lot of time on it at the moment. But it was a really nice dream, and I’m happy to have it waiting for me when and if I do get around to it.

How do you get ideas and inspiration? Do you sometimes dream a story?

Oh, on a somewhat related note: I finally decided to make an author page on Facebook and I’d really appreciate it if you drop by to say hi, like the page or just check it out if you’re in the neighbourhood.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2015 3:11 pm

    Do I sometimes dream a story? Hahahahahahahahaha! Oh the irony. Get it? Because In Evening is all dreams? Heh. Okay, I’ll stop.

    But I don’t get the full character backstory thing like you do. I get concepts. Vaguely. I daydream a lot, and my head is not really all there, even when I’m awake and talking. It’s somewhere teetering on the brink of fiction and reality. Concepts like murdering dream monsters or cryogenic time travel or guy who throws fireballs and flip cars. Throughout the day, I play around in those world like a video game. Throw some characters in, see how they do. If I like it, they expand, sometimes with a life of its own. If I don’t, I eventually just, sadly, forget them.


    • February 5, 2015 8:28 am

      Hehe, yeah I see the irony of that.
      Interesting that you dream concepts more than characters. I do once in a while, but I’m not as good as you at pursuing those and making sense of them.
      Thanks a lot for sharing! 🙂


  2. Maggie permalink
    February 5, 2015 12:19 am

    I love it when dreams like that happen! Mine are rarely as complete as the one you described, but they do give me some bits and pieces I can use.


    • February 5, 2015 8:30 am

      I agree it’s a great feeling. I haven’t a dream-story that complete for years, so it was quite a treat. Usually it is more bits and pieces and especially charcters for me. Thanks for the comment! 🙂


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