Random Inspirations

Welcome to my blog, full of fun inspirations and insights on writing, self-publishing, and more!

Turning Dreams into Stories

on January 6, 2014

Happy New Year! I hope everyone has had a sparkling holiday season, full of family, friends, and memories. And even if you felt more Grinch than Whoville during the festivities, it’s amazing to have that fresh start that we all feel this time of year!

This holiday season, I was in Lebanon visiting Antonio’s family — more about that in a future blog post! The local time in Lebanon is ten hours later than that of California, so, needless to say, my sleep schedule was toast. We were sleeping late and long, yet always tired. Thank goodness for that potent Turkish coffee they’re always drinking there…

But the incredible side effect of my weird sleep habits was that I had incredibly vivid dreams. I have always wanted to write a paranormal YA novel, but I never could come up with a cool enough premise for a story. I’d basically resigned myself to the fact that my mind just didn’t work that way. Well, maybe it doesn’t when I’m awake, but it sure did one night when I was deep in a REM cycle (or was it morning? We basically never woke up before 1 PM!).

I don’t want to give much away, but I dreamed an entire paranormal novel with myself as a heroine. Of course I didn’t think of it that way — I was in the dream, after all, as my grown-up self. And the dream felt totally real to me when I was lost in it. But when I was telling Antonio about the dream the next day, he said it could very easily be modified for a YA heroine.

Antonio and I during our Lebanon trip, where I had some of the wildest dreams ever!

Antonio and I during our Lebanon trip, where I had some of the wildest dreams ever!

While I was having this incredible dream and immediately afterwards, I did a few things that I just have to share with you. Hopefully, these little mind exercises will help you to capture some of your coolest dreams and turn them into stories! After all, inspiration can come even subconsciously (and sometimes, it’s more vibrant that way).

  • Keep the dream alive. In the middle of the dream, my sleeping self actually realized how cool it was. So, when the REM cycle started ending and I felt myself waking up, I continued the dream in my head as if I was telling myself a story. Then, I nodded off again and the dream resumed. Bizarre technique, but it’s worked for me in the past, so I know it’s legit.
  • Tell someone about it. As soon as I woke up, I told Antonio about the dream. Retelling it made it more real and confirmed its value as a future writing project. Plus, it cemented the events of the story in my mind. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of an awesome dream or thought slipping away. Articulating the dream is the best way to prevent that horrible feeling.
  • Write it down. This one is obvious but worth mentioning. I’m pretty sure that all of us writers have inspiration notebooks, but if you don’t, picking one up should be your New Year’s Resolution. Before I agreed to do anything else, I scribbled down the dream in its entirety, and now it lies waiting to be resurrected in the form of a later project. Can’t wait!

Have you ever had any dreams that were so cool you turned them into stories? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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2 responses to “Turning Dreams into Stories

  1. Dreams really can be a source of inspiration and a start to a great plot. Actually I had a dream that has grown into a trilogy.
    Great idea for starting of a new novel for a New Year. Lebanon sounds like a great place for a visit. Thanks for sharing and thanks for your visit. Hope 2014 is a great year for you!

  2. Thanks Dragontailsandscales! It’s awesome that your dream grew into a trilogy. Glad you enjoyed the post, and happy new year!

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