Wednesday, February 3, 2010

An Idea for A New Story

Do you get story ideas from your dreams?

I think most of my ideas start in my sleep, or sometimes in that half-and-half netherworld just before waking.

A few weeks ago I awoke in the middle of the night with an idea for a new story. I don't keep a pen and paper beside my bed any more because my husband complained that I woke him at night with my scribbling. I thought about my idea for a while and then lay there and tried to memorize it. My theory is: if the idea has merit, I'll remember it in the morning.

This one was strong enough to stay with me till morning. I wrote it down in my idea folder and went about my business. Like bread dough, newborn ideas have to rest for a while before I start kneading them into some kind of form. Often I find there's not enough in a new idea to work with. Sometimes several different ideas trigger new, and more substantive, ideas that can be worked into an actual story.

I've been pondering my idea when I have a few minutes here and there. It seems to be bubbling along nicely. I think I may have something to work with. Interestingly, I have both a character and a rudimentary plot in mind. Ordinarily, I start with one or the other. This time the two go together.

Like I have so much time to start a brand new project! (Not!)

But, I've learned that story ideas come when they will, and I can never resist testing a likely candidate when it happens to bubble up in my dreams.

To be continued.



  1. I do a similar thing... new ideas need to brew for a bit, like a pot of coffee, until they become strong enough to have some kick!

    Can't say I tend to get story ideas from my dreams, though maybe that's because I'm not looking for them. I tend to have mostly nightmares, and I've been wanting to learn how to write a bit darker... hmm. Something to explore!

  2. Absolutely! Run with it! There is nothing quite like the high of a new idea percolating and the first furious scribbles of the story.

    I do a lot of my story development in the moments I am drifting off to sleep. It makes me look forward to going to bed - which is a great thing for this certifiable night owl!

  3. I keep a journal by my bed and write down some of my craziest dreams. Sometimes your subconscious has amazing ideas for stories!