Ideas are everywhere, but recognizing them when we see them is the challenge. Writers plumb every little thing they can to come up with workable ideas, and of course, sometimes it takes a long, long time for those ideas to blossom and come to fruition. Dreams, naturally, are a wonderful source to come up with some ideas, and it's not even a source that we can generally control. (I say "generally" because not everyone can do a lot of lucid dreaming. Not without practice, at least. Lucid dreaming. Fun idea!)
Like the other night. I woke up with the memory of a complete scene from a dream. It was a scene of nothing I'd written, with characters I didn't know, of a situation I knew nothing about. But it was complete, and so clear, even after I woke up and stayed awake, that I knew my subconscious, weird thing that it is, was telling me to write it down and work it in. Work it into something that I hadn't written yet and had no other information on. My subconscious has a sense of humor. Its name is Ralph, incidentally.
So I wrote it down and admired the details that had been provided to me, but it wasn't until I had another dream, with the same characters and even in the same setting, but from the POV of the second character, that I realized that my subconscious has an efficient sense of humor. Because I was getting the goal, motivation, and conflict of the second character from the same conversation.
Interestingly, not the names of the characters. I was typing in placeholders as I transcribed the conversation both times. I can only guess that my subconscious was giving me choice about that. Nice of Ralph.
The third dream I had continued the same characters and finished the immediate plot arc. And that was it. It's been a few weeks and as I put all the pieces together, I can thank Ralph with a little nudge for me to start a new story. I have a snippet of story to start with, but it's an intriguing snippet, and clearly it's something that Ralph thought was ready to be expelled from my treasure chest o' ideas and make use of!
Elizabeth MS Flynn has written fiction in the
form of comic book stories, romantic fantasies, urban fantasies, historical
fantasies and short stories, a young adult novel, and a graphic novella (most
published under the name of Eilis Flynn). She’s also a professional editor and
has been for almost 40 years, working with academia, technology, and finance
nonfiction, and romance fiction. If you’re looking for an editor, she can be
found editing at emsflynn.com and reached at email@example.com. If you’re
curious about her books, check out eilisflynn.com. In any case, she can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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