8 January 2013 - 4:45 pm

Dreaming stories

Last night, I had a weird, vivid dream. It was packed with random, wildly unconnected elements, as dreams usually are, but a couple of them hung around in the back of my brain after I woke up. They decided that hey, we’re cool, so we’re staying. Oh, and wouldn’t we make an AWESOME story?

I both love it and hate it when that happens. On one hand, yay! New idea! On the other, I already have enough projects to juggle; I don’t need any more. But on the third hand, it has taken up residence in my brain and wants to get out.

I’m all up-to-date with Starwalker, so I decided to let the dream run wild this morning. I ticked over the idea as I got ready for work, and by the time I was sitting on the train with my netbook out, I had a place to start writing. I’m partway into a short story now and thoroughly amusing myself with it.

The scary part is that I could do a series of these shorts stories, maybe tie them all together into an anthology… yes, I’ve already spun out dream-fired snippets into an anthology’s worth of stories. Not in any detail but the potential is definitely there. I am both cheering and facepalming at myself. I even have a name for it.

This sort of thing doesn’t happen to me often. I’ve had dream-inspired pieces happen before but it’s fairly rare; I’ll be posting soon about the genesis of ideas and stories, and dreams aren’t on my list of sources. I might draw inspiration from them in a general idea-soup kind of way, but the ‘wake up and must write’ thing just doesn’t happen very often.

The last time was back in November, which prompted an abortive short story. It was creepy and fun, but the concept wasn’t formed enough to write and it petered out before I figured out where it was going. Maybe one day I’ll go back to it and finish it up.

This one is different. I think I know where it’s going and what it needs to be. It has scope for creepiness and some tongue-in-cheek playfulness, for raunchiness and a touch of horror. So far, there are vampires (possibly because I’ve been watching The Vampire Diaries lately), an orgy, some goth wannabes, and a viewpoint you don’t get to hear from often: random nameless victim. The viewpoint appeals to me because, while I enjoy the fantastical and speculative aspects of fiction (I’ve written scifi, superhero, and fantasy fiction), I’m also interested in the effects is has on those on the edges of the story. Regular people are fascinating creatures.

I haven’t forgotten about everything else I want to write this year. This is only a short story, so maybe I’ll keep poking at it for a little while longer. See where it takes me; see if it runs out of steam or drags me along to the end.

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One comment

  1. Alfreda Dale says:

    In today’s fast-moving world, the first sentence of your short story should catch your reader’s attention with the unusual, the unexpected, an action, or a conflict . Begin with tension and immediacy. Remember that short stories need to start close to their end.

    January 26th, 2013 at 3:53 pm