Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This Dream I Had

Okay, so I don't dream all that often. And I've never had this flash of lightning for a story whilst dreaming/sleeping.

But the other night, I had this dream. Full of weird stuff, and people I know from all different areas of my life. Some high school friends. Some characters from books.

And Beth Revis.

That's right. So there's Beth, and she's the music teacher at this school where I was teaching too--just what I was teaching is a mystery. But Beth was hosting this like, live sing-in as a protest against the Westin's.

Who are the Westin's? I wasn't really sure, but I knew they were BAD. They were trying to take over our part of the country. Or something. So I sat down at the sing-in, where Beth was strumming away on her guitar, and some of my old high school friends were there.

So, of course, I morphed into a teenager. And then this boy sat down next to me, and we really hit it off, and he asked me out, and I said yes.

Then I walked, seriously, like ten feet from the sing-in to the door of my apartment, where I lived with my sister. But she wasn't really my sister. Well, she was, but it wasn't my real, biological sister--it was this character from a book.

Weird, I know.

And she hated me (she was one of the mean girls in the book), and we didn't talk, and when this cute boy came to pick me up--hours later, mind you--my sister had her two friends over. And he introduced himself since I didn't exactly know his last name, as Chris Westin, and my sister paled and her friends stared.

I knew the name should me something to me, but Chris was cute, and suddenly we were in college, so I could do whatever I wanted, and so we left the apartment.

That's when I woke up. And my first thought was: "I should write a book about this."

My second: "About WHAT, exactly? Beth Revis playing the guitar? There's no story here, you moron."

My third: "Man, I'm tired. My head feels fuzzy... zzz."

So yeah. Those are the kinds of things you think after you've had a codeine-induced dream. Weird, yeah?

Where do you get your story ideas? Dreams? Random places? Narcotics? Do tell.

58 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

It's weird how dreams feel like a story but really they just capture an emotion or a single scene. There might a thriller in that one with the bad guys.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Who knows, part of that might become a story. It's weird where you can find ideas--a story in the newspaper, something you see on vacation, a little idea that morphs into a book.

Cheree said...

I agree that this could become a story. I haven't actually dreamt of a story idea, mine come in the vaguest of places. Mine often come through a random comment made on the news or in a movie, or even with how someone acts. Observation is a great key.

Wen Baragrey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wen Baragrey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wen Baragrey said...

The other night I went looking for Alaska with John and Hank Green. We didn't find her, by the way, and got very cold because in my dream the only way to get to Alaska was in a great big container ship and I forgot my coat. Plus, I appeared to forget that Alaska was a girl, not a place, and got angry at John Green for not telling me sooner since he wrote the book.

Sleep time generally rocks for me, I have to say :)

Theresa Milstein said...

What a detailed dream. Sounds like you have the makings of a new novel. Since you're both writers and she used to be a teacher like you, it all gets blurred.

My WIP Naked Eye came from a funny place. My father-in-law and cousin were talking about their lasik surgeries. That night, I dreamed something about an eye. Didn't really remember it, but the next day the line (more or less like this):


"You know how adults always warn children not to run with scissors because they could lose an eye and to stop tipping back their chairs because they could crack open their skulls? I’ve never cracked open my skull from tipping back a desk chair, but three years ago, I ran with scissors and lost an eye."

Then I decided her eye would be replaced with a lie-seeing one. I have just a few chapters left to go on the thing.

Michelle McLean said...

oooo I think this would make an AWESOME Romeo and Juliet type story :D

I have awesome crazy dreams all the time, dreams that would make awesome stories....have a whole file full of them :D

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Your dream just made me dizzy. ;)

I get my ideas from all sorts of places but never from dreams. Too bad. I hear it can result in a bestselling book and movie deal. :)

Jen Daiker said...

All mine come from dreams. I get the occassional 'What if' concept but normally they come from the strangest places while I dream. I also wake up and I'm like 'Whoa I need to write about this' even if nothing ever comes of it!!!

My latest one: Three girls dance in the rain. One year one disappears, the following the second disappears, the third remains and is sent to Rayne Manor because she doesn't speak (unless it rains)... several secrets unfold and each night I fall asleep an additional puzzle piece falls into place.

Yes I do love to dream. The results are just amazing!

Jonathon Arntson said...

The shower.

Josh Hoyt said...

I get a lot of my ideas from talking in class or with family. Sometimes it comes from questions I have about life and I try to answer them. One of strengths/weaknesses is I think a lot (sometimes until 3 or 4 in the morning talk about frustrating) and when I think I say hey that would be an interesting story.

Matthew MacNish said...

It kind of sounds like you're doing that thing Vi does with Jag's dreams, which is a little awesome, but also a little creepy.

I've gotten tidbits of story ideas from dreams before, but mostly my ideas come from taking something in my life that I've already lived through (like going to boarding school as a kid) and making it way more awesome (like adding martial arts and a touch of magic to said school).

kellyhashway said...

I've pulled story ideas from dreams before. I've even pulled things from other people's dreams. I think we should use inspiration wherever it comes from. Why waste it?

Charity Bradford said...

I love crazy dreams! There is the Romeo Juliet thread in that one.

I have my review of Possession up if you want to check it out.

HERE.

I loved it. My girls are reading it now and I'm going to let them do a review on my blog when they finish. :)

Katie Mills said...

lol- I've had dreams with glimpses into really eery situations that felt like they were part of something much bigger and yes, I have recorded them at times but have yet to make a book out of them. Funny post!

Jamie Manning said...

I don't know, I think you should start writing...there's something hidden in there!

I get my ideas from absolutely anywhere. Just the other day I got a really cool idea for a dystopian from the license plate on the car in front of me...so yeah, they come from anywhere at any time!

Kristi Helvig said...

Your dream made me laugh--you're gonna be on high alert the next time someone says their last name is Westin!

I'm a vivid dreamer. With my newest ms, I heard a song that stuck with me and that night, I dreamed the entire story. It was pretty cool. :)

Escape Artist said...

Kristi....spooky!
I can't tell you the dream I had last night, because frankly it was too real and too scary. The thing that really got me in this particular dream, was the sound effect of the something I can't say, you know cause it was so very awful. I've never had sound effects with that kind of clarity in any dream before.
Totally freaked me right out, and as you can probably guess, still is.
Writing a story from my dreams, nope never happens to me. However, I hear voices when I start to fall asleep and they say some amazing things.
Okay, so we're all a bit on the strange side!

Summer Frey said...

I've gotten some ideas from dreams, but mostly just for scenes that would be cool to introduce to a story.

The majority of my dreams come from the bored part of my brain while I'm doing stuff. The latest came to me while I was running--the day was super quiet, I was all alone, and I kept thinking about being chased.

LM Preston said...

Lovin' the dream. I do dream vividly even more so since I'm writing.

Miriam S. Forster said...

I'm feeling kind of a Romeo and Juliet vibe, perhaps with the Westins as developers and you as the small town girl trying to stop them. :)

This happens to me ALL THE TIME. (I have super vivid movie dreams)

Bish Denham said...

I think you could find a story in that dream. I find ideas everywhere. I have binders full of ideas, more than I will ever be able to write about. It's settling on just one that is the hard part.

Sierra Gardner said...

I have gotten ideas from dreams before, although most of my ideas come from me randomly thinking about things and having 'what if' moments. Not to mention that most of my dreams are a little too strange to use in my stories =)

Liza said...

My ideas come more from the half-awake, half asleep mode them from actual dreams. Hope you feel better.

Ishta Mercurio said...

LOL! You should see my dream journal. You'd laugh 'till you pissed your pants.

And I TOTALLY think you have a story here! Teenaged girl falls in love with son of evil family that wants to take over the world (or at least, the country)? Definitely a story there.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Ha ha ha! I have dreams like that ALL THE TIME. It makes me nuts, because I feel like I should be able to do something with them, but I can never think of what! :-)

foldingfields said...

This happens to me all the time. Many, many of my story ideas stem from dreams. Now, capturing the original feelings after waking up from a great story/adventure dream, that's very hard to do. :)

AE Rought said...

Not one book has come from a dream. One recent dream was in the middle of the zombiepocalypse. My family and my editor (which I do not have) were trapped in a cabin on a resort camp ground. Another extremely vivid dream was Me being chased through a devastated city carrying two babies--one in yellow, one in blue. I came to a point where I had to leap over a massive ditch and I dropped the blue baby. Then I had to rescue the blue baby, and despite the horrific fall, it was fine.

Yeah. Weird.

Carol Riggs said...

Haha, great dream! Funny since I'm reading ACROSS THE UNIVERSE right now (and enjoying it). Ideas from dreams? Sure! And from news articles, stray thoughts, random fears, funny noises, old TV shows, etc. :)

Melody said...

Hey, that's a great dream to have...and yes it would make a great story. A little dystopian (family taking over the country), a little forbidden romance (falling in love with the Westin's son)...it's Romeo & Juliet meets The Hunger Games. Or something like that. :)

I've had a few story ideas from dreams, but I've never gone very far with them. :) Could, but chose others. Most of mine I get from special scenes in movies and other books that I love too much not to repeat over and over, finally turning them into a whole story. :)

Jennifer Hoffine said...

My very first inkling that I may want to write came from a weird pregnancy dream. Unlike the usual sub-conscious menagerie, I dreamed the first scene of an adult supernatural novel.

I never tried to write that book and none of my other book ideas have come like that, but that was the first spark.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i'm like a cesspool of dreams. I pretty much dream frequently while i sleep, and most of them are fully plotted out stories.
My dreams are awesome. I love sleeping

Indigo said...

Experience and nightmares fuel a lot of my ideas for books. I'm a virtual fount for any horror or thriller novel.

I think for me it's taking the worst scenerio and giving it a twist. (Hugs)Indigo

Christine Fonseca said...

A) Love that you had this dream (and can't believe you did't tell me)and B) you KNOW I had vivid saga dremas about my characters. hahaha

lynnrush said...

Narcotics ROTFLOL! I got a story idea when a uniquely dressed customer walked into a Barnes and Noble once. A few from dreams, most from being out on long runs or bikes.

Ideas can come from anywhere at anytime. Just got to be ready. :) Then run with it! :)

Liesl said...

Well that's hilarious. I have dreams sort of like that where some part of my consciousness knows that I'm married and it would be wrong to go out with another boy, but in the dream I'm in high school and it should be totally fine. I wake up feeling like I've somehow been unfaithful and possibly psychotic.

My ideas come in bits and pieces from very random thought processes over a period of time. It's hard for me to be specific about how they come to me. I've yet to have a stellar dream that makes me want to write a book.

Nicole Zoltack said...

lol I love dreams when you wake up and go HUH???

I have gotten story ideas from dreams. One awesome dream was about angels and demons. I so am going to write that into a novel someday.

Yeah, my dreams are definitely out there!

Nicole L Rivera said...

I got a story idea in class last night...so I'd say daydreaming is the key for me ;)

Nicole L Rivera said...

I got a story idea in class last night...so I'd say daydreaming is the key for me ;)

Nicole L Rivera said...

I got a story idea in class last night...so I'd say daydreaming is the key for me ;)

Heather said...

I've always had very vivid dreams. When I was younger I used to tell my dreams to the kids on my bus. Yip, I was pretty cool.
I've only started writing them into stories though. My dreams are usually very violent and bloody which isn't really my style. ;)

E. Elle said...

All of the above.

Well, not narcotics. I mean, that's just silly.

*Cough*

:)

VR Barkowski said...

I'm a research junkie. I find when there's something I REALLY want to know more about, there's often a story (aka an excuse to research) buried there somewhere. :)

beth said...

So there I was, eating some Cream of Wheat. Because I'm trying out Cream of Wheat. Turns out it's gross. But I decided to eat it anyway. Turns out I'm cheap.

So there I was licking my spoon and trying to tell myself that this TOTALLY tasted like cinnamon and not lumpy snot, and THERE WAS MY NAME.

I feel like we had a moment, over Cream of Wheat and dreams :D

Also: DUDE!!! The dream-me is SO more awesome than the real me! I wish I could play the guitar! (I play piano...poorly) I wish I could stage a sing-in!! And DUDE! DUUUUUDE!!!!!! You are dating the enemy!!!!!!

OK, that's it. Go write this book. NOW.

ali said...

OMGosh! I'm totally LMBO!!! Even my boys had to ask "what are you laughing at?" Sigh. They'd never get it. But *I* thought this was WICKED! (I hope the Westins don't get me! But then, if they're cute, maybe I HOPE they get me!)

Krispy said...

LOL, sounds like an interesting dream. I think you could probably tease a story out of there.

Quite a few of my best ideas come from random dream snippets. I think it's that whole unconscious random churning thing. Cold medicines usually don't make me dream. They just knock me the heck out.

Kerri Cuev said...

OMG you are funny! Have you been reading a lot lately? Lol!

I get ideas in the most random of things. It could be a song, a tree, a smell. I'm talking crazy random.

Marsha Sigman said...

Note: Must not write after smoking the crack pipe. No one wants to read twenty pages on the color orange.

My ideas can come from anywhere, a random comment or even a picture I see. I do dream almost every night and if it's anything interesting(usually not), I write down a line or two so I don't forget it. Hey, I don't want to miss my Twilight idea.

lbdiamond said...

LOL! Yeah, I get inspirations from dreams...not all of them pan out, tho, haha!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I get mine on long car rides, but maybe I should try narcotics (kidding!). Seriously, my brain goes dream-crazy when I'm in super-creative mode writing. But somehow it's never something super helpful with,like, a PLOT. :)

Veronica said...

Whoa. That was a trip down the rabbit hole. Nice. Love it. Dreams are amazing things.

Jemi Fraser said...

I have crazy dreams all the time - no codeine required. :)

I had one the other day I thought would make a great YA horror - but I'm too much of a wimp to write it!

A Backwards Story said...

I'm glad I'm not the only writer who doesn't remember her dreams!

I tend to get my ideas from something someone says or a sentence that stands out in a book or a flash of imagery on TV or a wayward song lyric... Anything can spark my creative flame!

Myrna Foster said...

LOL. It sounds like you're dreaming up a Dystopian Romeo and Juliet.

I've had some ideas come from dreams, some from life. I don't take narcotics. Am I missing out on something? ;)

Donea Lee said...

I usually get my story ideas while I'm awake from random things - a book title, a movie, my favorite tv show, something I see while driving. The dreams I do remember are a bit too bizarre for my writing taste, but you never know... :)

bel said...

I'm impressed that you could remember so much of your dream! I detest the feeling that I've forgotten some inspiration that came to me while asleep (or half-asleep).

Most of my ideas come to me in the ((blush)) shower...

Bekah Snow said...

I get wacky dreams ALL the time, always have. Certain pieces I use, but not a total plot. I get ideas from the real world that I turn into a different story. It could just be a concept though

See Elana's recent blog posts

Recent Posts Widget