Oct 19, 2011

Dreaming Stories

I dream stories. Always. The stories might be glimpses at my own special brand of insanity, but there's always a plot. There's always a goal, this relates to that(action and consequence), and there are themes. Themes that seem to have nothing to do with my daily life. For years, it's been a running thing with my family and friends, me telling my dreams. Frequently they are answered with: I would watch that or I would read that. A decade ago, when the idea that I could ever write was just a dyslexic fantasy, I ignored it every time someone suggested I write the dream-story down.

My husband, during pre-husband days, harangued me into making a character on the roleplaying game where he played. I didn't want to. I was terrified. Everyone would know I was a bad writer. No one would want to play with me. I made him make the character, and every now and then I would stumble onto the grid, run into someone, type a ridiculously bad sentence, and then flee. I did this until some storyline happened I couldn't bear not being part of, and that one story-arc got me addicted to the whole thing. That's what got me started writing.

Over the next several years, I worked on my writing chops on online text-based RPGs, and didn't consider that I could be a writer. Not until the past 3-4 years did I give it serious thought. Then, my dreams became a way for me to try and build some platform of confidence that I was pursuing an entirely reachable goal. God, the Universe, my subconscious... whatever your moral compass is directed by... wanted me to be a storyteller. It had been giving me stories for years, so I could do this.

The natural progression was to begin writing romance -- that's what I read, after all. But I don't dream romance stories. I dream science fiction, almost entirely. Aliens? Yup. Psychic phenomena? Yep. But I also dream anthropological, alternate-universe, society-based science fiction. If my whateveryoubelieve-spiritual-divining-rod gives me stories, and I use that fact as some kind of guidepost to assure myself I'm finally doing what I am supposed to be doing, shouldn't I be writing that kind of story?

Do you dream stories? Do you ever incorporate real dreams into your plots?


  1. I don't think I dream stories, not in a coherent way. But I've daydreamed stories for decades. Complicated stories which I picked up each time I had a chance. I never thought I could write though. Even though I was top in my class in english. I was going to be a scientist.
    And now I am. And a pretty good one at that. I've a masters in Physics from Oxford University to show it. I've worked with NASA.
    But it wasn't until I was at home all day with a baby that I thought, hey what about having a go at writing.
    I've always daydreamed romance, although I didn't start reading it until about four years ago.
    I think it just takes us a while to catch on to ideas sometimes.

    I think sciencefiction can be a difficult market to crack, but it is full of possibilities. No boxes like with Mills and Boon. Why not give it a try and see?

  2. Amalie, something to note, or better, something to take hope from...Now I'm writing more for me, it's really flowing. It's so easy to write. If I had time, I could easily knock out what was taking a week or more, in a day. It helps me see how professional authors can write so fast. They are writing what they are good at. And I'll worry whether someone else likes it later...

  3. Write what you dream. Period. The end. I *read* lots of regency historicals, lots of super spicy stuff, lots of romantic suspense. But that's not what I dream. I dream in contemporary romance. Dialogue, characters, situations just come into my head and won't let go. Even if I never write the story down, it's just there playing in my little internal movie theater.

    If you're not writing what you're dreaming, you're not letting your dreams do *their* work. Maybe it's kind of having awesome pants, your favorite pants, but thinking that you need to wear a skirt to party. And trying on skirt after skirt, but none being right (write :)) because it turns out you weren't a skirt girl at all--you were just trying to wear what you thought others wanted you to.

    Write the dreams. Have you read Zoe Archer? She is building one hell of a career in Sci-Fi, Historical Paranormal, and steam punk. If you write it, readers will come.

  4. @Andrea: That is good to hear! Anything that makes the process less strenuous and more enjoyable is a Good Thing. I fought my artistic side for a long time, and my first degree is in mechanical design and drafting. All the 'smart' people I knew liked science and math, so therefore I liked science and math... except I didn't :) Took me a long while to figure that out.

    @Chance: On some level I agree with this, but I'm still floundering my way through the whole thing to try and figure out what I think. This is why I never debate anything. It takes me forever to examine my thoughts on some subject. I haven't heard of Zoe Archer, but I am digging in to look her up now! Thank you for the reference.


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