A to Z Challenge 2013

Monday, July 19, 2010

Story Ideas - Dreams And Nightmares

I woke this morning from a rather horrific nightmare.  It involved myself and my family, and it was so vivid that I couldn't shake the unnerving feelings for some time.  Being the writer that I am, I added it to the document I keep called "Story Ideas".  I figure if it creeped me out enough to leave me shaken long after I launched out of bed, I probably should write the story (but use somebody else's name and family, heh heh).

Ironically, I was sitting in the bathroom trying to shake off the intense feeling of dread from my dream and I had another idea.  What's funny is it starts out with a man in his bathroom at home.  Odd place to start perhaps, but it really does make sense.  I'll share it with anyone who wants to know what I'm thinking, but I'm just not going to post it here.  It's too good to waste on my blog, heh heh.  It deserves better than that.

This got me to thinking about dreams and nightmares.  I don't usually remember my dreams, so the times when I do are because the images were so vivid or affected myself and/or my family directly.  Dreams about my family are usually not the comforting type.  I find this odd too, because I'm very much a family man and love my family dearly.  I think the reason why though is because I consider myself the protector of my family and the dreams I have usually involve something that threatens them.

I do have other dreams though, bizarre things that leave me wondering "What the heck?"  Call it bad chicken the night before or whatever, but these can be great fodder for writing stories.  I didn't have the habit of writing things down until I started writing.  I would laugh at the absurdity of whatever I had dreamed and then let it slip away.  Nowadays however, I try to make sure I write down every insane dream or idea that pops into my head.  Because I don't usually write "normal" stories (i.e. I like the creepy or paranormal stuff), these opportunities are something I need to grab onto whenever they appear.

If you're interested in hearing what ideas I came up with, drop me a comment with an email address.  I love chatting story ideas with people (whether I'm telling mine or hearing others).   My question to you is whether you track your dreams and allow them to influence your story ideas?  Do you write them down right away or are you letting these opportunities pass you by?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I usually remember mine, but most are too odd even for a story!

DEZMOND said...

oh, I get it, we bloggers are now not good enough for your nightmares :)))

Michelle H. said...

I remember most of my dreams, even the odd ones. There's never telling when a juicy tidbit of a dream would make a good story idea.

Matt Conlon said...

I think it makes perfect sense to start a story with someone in the bathroom... Heck, that's where most people's days start!

I'd love to hear it! matthewconlon@gmail.com!

Robyn Campbell said...

Eric, loved your ideas in the title contest.Hey, A Tale of Two Horses, that's good stuff! *wink* Good luck.

I write everything down. I have files all over the computer for things I know I'll forget and need to remember. Definitely dreams. They're so mysterious. I have a pen and notebook right by the bed.

My husband has even gotten on the dream wagon. He wakes me up saying, "I had this dream, it'll make a great book. Wake up so we can brainstorm. Sheesh!

Great post. :)


Dreams can be so weird. Some scarier than others. I usually do write down a dream when I feel it would make good use in a story.

Sophie Playle said...

I have epic dreams, and I can usually remember four or five dreams from one night.

I've tried writing stories out of a few dreams. Often the narrative is difficult to make sense of though.

And the strong feelings of fear/emotion in the dream are usually not a product of the situation, but are just projected from your mind. The fear is part of the dream state, not caused by it (if that makes sense).

I get images and general ideas from dreams sometimes, but usually it is very difficult to transcribe the complexity and surreality of a dream into a logical narrative.

Eric said...

Alex - I don't often remember mine, but the ones I do remember are usually somewhat linear.

Dezmond - Not at all. I trust you followers just fine. It's the rest of the Interwebs I don't trust LOL.

Michelle - So that's where your fractured fairytales come from :)

Matt - Ain't it the truth. And the bathroom (surprisingly enough) is often the only room where you can truly be alone.

Robyn - LOL, that one was a joke. I'm glad you like it though.

Victoria - That's good that you write it down. We definitely have to capture these ideas when we can.

Sophie - I understand what you're saying, but since I write odd stuff, the dreams and nightmares probably fit better for me than most. Plus, we can bend the story to be whatever we want so the odd nature of a dream might not be a bad place to start. Thanks for stopping by.