Friday, June 21, 2013

Inspiration: Dreams, a bit cliche? Maybe...

Legacy post from my Goodreads blog.

December 7, 2012
Last time I visited this topic, I shared some of my tips for writing without a plan. This time, I'll discuss one of the most celebrated and tricky sources of inspiration: dreams.

Dreams. A bit cliche? Maybe, but dreams are the playground of the creative mind. All things imaginable and unimaginable are possible in dreams. The trick is remembering them when you wake up.

I don't write down my dreams, although that is one frequently recommended method. Instead, I purposefully think about the dream, what happened in it, how it made me feel, the colors, tastes and sensations it generated. What I'm doing is creating a mental roadmap to the realm of my own imaginings, one that I can revisit at a later date, perhaps even years later.

Shadows of Valor was spawned by a particularly exciting dream, the kind you want to sleep in to finish and can't help but mourn when reality crashes in. The dream was a few years old before I decided to map it out in a notebook and take a shot at writing a story about it, but even now I can picture it in my mind: the wild freedom of flight, the fear of being discovered in hostile territory, the heartache of falling for the enemy, and the life and death struggle for survival when everything falls apart.

There's nothing like waking, your heart racing, and realizing you've just experienced something truly epic. Don't let that moment escape your grasp. Write it down, map it out in your mind, draw a picture, or wake up your partner and tell them about it (even if they grumble a bit).

And, keep this little tidbit in mind. A dream doesn't have to be yours to provide inspiration. The next time a friend or family member volunteers their latest foray into the strange and wonderful, listen carefully lest you miss out on something extraordinary.
Published on December 07, 2012 17:46Tags: dreams, inspiration, mapping, visualization, writing