(On a complete side note, I was looking for a picture of a drunken muse on google images when I found the above picture - what's shocking about this picture is that this is Twig, a reoccurring character at our local Renfest (of which I am a season ticket holder and a wearer of wenchy fashion) - what are the chances?!)
I usually dream in full-fledged plots, but occasionally just have dreams that jump around and make no sense. I also don't have nightmares too often, and when I do they're always just dreams full of anxiety as opposed to monsters or scary things. I LIKE the monsters and scary things dreams, they're always full of action and suspense.
I also have a reoccurring character in my dreams, one that's a representative of me that can fly and do other cool stuff. She makes an appearance typically in the aforementioned plot dreams.
Anyway, as I was saying, the other night I had two great dreams. The first one had to do with a man who's son had betrayed him in some sort of mafia related way. He assassinated his son by having him shot (think Sonny Corleone from the Godfather shot...)
What I really liked about this dream was the subsequent necromancy, where some other faction raised the son from the dead. In my dream I had become the son and the necromancy involved stitching the man back together (closing up the bullet holes, so to speak) and the stitching was very painful. I could feel every little stitch. In hindsight it seemed like on of those dreams where you're half awake and your arm hurts in your dream because it's twisted under you in real life. But I couldn't figure out why all these different specific areas on my body wold be hurting while I slept (for some reason he needed stitching on the tips of his big toe - wtf?).
The second dream was much different and involved a prince meeting a foreign princess, some cute romance followed by some regicide (hmm, there was a lot of murder in my dreams that night...)
Anyway, the point I'm making with all of this is often I'll have some fantastic dream and I'll think to myself - surely this will make a GREAT story... and then I write it down and typically promptly forget about it.
In the past (high school) I used to try to write stories based off of my dreams. Of course most the stuff I wrote back then was elaborate fan-fiction - where myself and all my friends made up our own characters and stuck them into our favorite show where said characters had adventures and romances. You know, the typical Mary-Sue teen junk.
Those dream-based stories never turned out well. After years of trying I came to the conclusion that writing a story based off a dream is folly (not counting Stephanie Meyer or Aprilynne Pike (dammit)).
I think, (for me anyway) that occasionally I can base a scene in an existing story, off a dream. But a whole story? There's just not enough substance.
But! - surely if I combine TWO dreams (say, the ones I had the other night that included filicide, necromancy and regicide...) that will overcome the lack of substance and give me a base to build off of, right? Right?!
Yes! I can see it working now!
I'm off to write down my new story idea in my notebook!