Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Which I Dream Of Dreams

The other night I had two awesome dreams. This isn't unusual for me, I have frequent, vivid dreams and always have. They become even more frequent and vivid, and occasionally lucid the more I write. I like to think it's my muse, getting off her drunken ass to do some work for a change.

(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!


Anne said...

I would make the argument that Stephanie Meyer basing her book off of a dream was STILL folly, jusdging by the quality of said stories.

I love that Twig picture. i knew there was more to that bitch that creepy fairy work

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

I used to always have dreams that I thought would make great stories but then in my half asleep state I think "I'll remember in the morning." Needless to say, I never remember in the morning. Alas, I now have a journal next to me and write blindly in the middle of the night often. It's fun trying to decipher it in the morning. I think my muse is drunk and blind.

Falen said...

Palindrom - i'm pretty good about remembering my dreams in the morning. Which is good because there's no way i would take the time to write something down when i'm in the middle of trying to sleep.

Twin - it makes me not hate her as much...

Teebore said...

Goddamnit, Twig irritates the hell out of me. I have to resist the urge to kick her in the shin every time I see her.

Your dreams are so much cooler and vivid than mine. My dreams usually just make me feel funny and confused when I wake up.

Just kidding. Usually my dreams (at least what I remember of them) are very abstract, and little more than images and feelings. Like, I'll wake up and remember an image of me running across the top of a fort and that I was fighting off some bad people, or I'll wake up and just remember that I felt very content in my dream (two recent examples).

I envy the relative lucidity and clarity of your dreams. Even if you can't get an entire story out of what you remember, at least you remember enough details you can use, or at least enough to be inspired by.

PS So did Stephanie Meyer have a dream that the hot boy in school finally noticed her despite her unique, dour and unconventional sensibilities and fell in love with her, thus making her life complete because nothing is more important for women than to be loved by a guy and have him put babies in you? Cuz that's pretty much the gist of the Twilight series, isn't it?

I'm with Twin; some dreams are better left unwritten. :)

Stark Raving Zen said...

I too have incredibly lucid dreams, ones during which I not only feel the pain of, say, stab wounds but also feel the white-hot heat of the blood flowing. And I have dream stories that are so complete, one even came with credits rolling at the end... (though I didn't stay to read them... too type A for that.) You can take the skeleton of a cool dream story and make it yours by utilizing your imagination and talent. After all, Stephen King uses dreams as story lines. The Stand, the Dark Half... there are others too but I can't recall.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

I have a lot of food dreams. I've woken up either chewing on my mouthguard or almost biting my fingers because I'm lifting invisible food to my lips.

I did have a really good ghost dream a few months ago that I'm going to try to expand and twist to make a story. We'll see how it pans out.

I agree with Zen and Falen, some dreams have the sprinkles of genius...just watch a David Lynch movie or read Jonathan Carroll. You'd have to get that kind of brilliance from dreams.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love the first picture - beautiful. Where would the writing world be without dreams?! :-)

Falen said...

Palindrome - You almost ate your fingers?! AND you wear a mouth guard?!

Teebore - yeah I'm not going to lie, having lucid dreams is about as awesome as you can imagine. And le sigh about twilight. But her actual dream was when Bella and Edward are in the forest and he's all sparkly. Gag Also did you hit fest this year? Because now Twig had her very own shop dedicated completely to HER! And retchingly it has some cute stuff in it that I kind of want...

Zen and Shannon - Yeah, I'll not give up hope on being able to use a dream - since I had those dreams I've had 4-5 more that were at the least very inspirational. But I'm just a little more cautious about it, having spent a lot of time on dream stories that lack enough substance to get anywhere.

Also I love The Stand SO MUCH

Teebore said...

She has her own shop? Ugh...

Sadly, no, I missed 'fest this year. August-October...well, really, August-December, is just insane for us.

We want to get new costumes this year though, so we'll definitely go at least once.

Falen said...

Good. Goooood...

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

It was dream of cream cheese and crackers...you'd almost bite your fingers too.

And excuuuuuuuuuse me, I don't want to destroy my teeth from my insessant grinding.

Although, when someone says mouth guard, my visual goes immediately to Better Off Dead, when John Cusack's set up on the blind date with the girl that has all the head gear and braces. LOL!

(My word is canips today...generic cheese crackers for cats?)

Falen said...

Palindrome - Well, to be fair, i wear a retainer when i sleep. Crackers and cream cheese sounds delicious, but i don't typically move around when i sleep. Or sleepwalk or talk, so yeah, i think it's weird.

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