IWSG: What Are You Dreaming About?
Posted on July 31, 2018

"Where do you get the ideas for your stories?"

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked this question, usually by non-writers. I bet loads of writers get asked the same. For me, I get most of the ideas for my sci-fi and fantasy novels and short stories from dreams.

"Who dreams like this?" -- This is usually the question that follows.

Well, I do. Blockbuster dreams, full of action, adventure and incredible special effects. I definitely blush whenever I have this conversation because it kind of makes me feel like a weirdo. But whatever, I'm too old to be pretending to be anything but me.

So, dreams take up a huge part of my creativity. A Bluebird’s Melancholy was a whimsical dream I had where I was the reincarnated bluebird and my husband was the unassuming cat. The Soul Snatcher was a recurring nightmare during my childhood, stemming from an urban legend in my neighborhood about a man buried underneath our school's playground. Tidal Waves represents a recurring nightmare that plagued me whenever work got too stressful.

The list goes on and on. Even the Family Relics series started with a dream of sister witches, a dying grandmother, family secrets, dragons, and lots and lots of chaos. I mean lots!

And I can't tell you how many times I've woken up in the middle of the night to write down my dreams in my journal before the details vanish. Sometimes, however, I do find scribbles that don't make sense. A few months ago I wrote this nonsensical entry: "Purple truck to Jupiter, and back, to save the cousins."  This was just around the time SpaceX launched it's Tesla into space so, maybe that had an influence on my dreams that night, along with the spicy Latin food I had for dinner.

And what was I saving my cousins from? Why Jupiter? It was a sloppy entry. They're not all gems, but I still write down my dreams when I can remember them. The weirder the better. You never know what may come of them.

So tell me writers, do your dreams influence your writing as mine do? And readers, what amazing dreams have you had that could easily be massaged into a piece of fiction? In today's age of romance/zombie-horror/fantasy/comedy mashups, no story is too crazy!

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Photo Credit:
by Robert Stevens Connett

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  1. Wow! You're a vivid dreamer! I think it's awesome that you get many of your story ideas from dreams. I haven't been greatly inspired by my dreams...too many times, I simply can't remember them. Great tip to write them down if you awaken. Wishing you much success!

    1. Thanks Sandra! Sometimes I lie awake for a few minutes before I get up to just think about my dreams. It's maddening!

  2. LOL! I'm right there with you. SO many story ideas, so little time to write them all out.

  3. Wow, your dreams sound epic! I used to have lots of vivid dreams and keep a dream diary but I barely remember mine anymore for some reason. There are a few I had as a child that I'll never forget. For example, when we were learning about paradoxes at school I had a weird dream about a sinister figure called 'The Paradox Man'. He was really tall and spindly-one side of his body was white, the other was black and he wore stripy black and white clothes and a hat. Everyone in the dream was warning me "beware the paradox man" and I was so terrified.

    1. OMG, that's such a great subject for a story. You should totally write it!!!

  4. I used to have some really epic dreams that were like movies, and it felt like they went on forever. They usually involved me and a loved one being chased by some crazed killer, and us having to go to huge lengths to escape. Sadly, I never wrote down the details, and I don't dream like that anymore. I probably don't get enough sleep to get into that zone!

    1. That's exactly why I write them down. It's crazy. And when I read the story-dream months or even years later, I recall the details.


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