Did you ever have that dream where...maybe we shouldn't go there.
How bout this one, Did you ever have that dream where the story ideas were unending and the words just flowed easily onto the paper? That's more like it. I've had that dream.
I'm a big believer in dreams. There's nothing I like better than to wake up from a really vivid, in-depth story and have the luxury of lying in bed and continuing it. Granted, that was before I had children, but I remember those times fondly.
My favorite dreams are the ones that get to you. You know, the ones that won't let you go even after you've risen and started your day. The dreams that whisper to you as you go about your business and pull you back into them whenever you find an idle moment. I can chew on a good one for several days, rewinding and replaying the scenes and inevitably adding to the tale.
This, I believe, is the source of great writing. Granted, stories come from other places. You get inspiration from watching the world, from the people you meet, from the news flash that catches your attention, from the subway. Still, those dream fragments have something different. They're special. They're emotionally charged.
I write all sorts of stories, from all different inspirations, but those ones that sprout from a great dream (or even a fleeting one) hold a special attachment for me. They are, somehow, uniquely mine.
My first novel started with a single scene, dreamt in one of those haunting dreams that kept at me for weeks. The dream scene is one of the last in the story, and began as only a fragment, but around it, behind it, underneath it, the whole story hid, waiting to be nursed into existence.
Like I said, I've always been big on dreams. I remember most of them, more if I actually write them down. Some are series, re-occurring at irregular intervals. Some have back story. Some have maps. (or something like that) So maybe I'm a little biased. Still, the stuff of dreams may be our most unique source of story. No two minds are alike, and so forth. Unless you count that Lord of the Rings dream, or the one where you go to school and realize you forgot to dress that morning. Those may be universal.
And I should probably keep them to myself.
Next time you wake up from a powerful story, and find it doesn't want to let you go, grab it and take it for a ride.