Who needs a muse when you have dreams?

I had the coolest experience this morning, and I really wanted to share it with you!

So like many creative types, I have really vivid dreams. Most of the time they’re erratic and fun, but not much use otherwise. You know, I’ll be running through a laser tag arena inside a closed shopping mall, trying to chase down a squad of Death Eaters and their pet panthers so I can stop them from reaching the grand library and aligning the twelve planets to attain ultimate cosmic power.

That sort of thing.

This morning, I had a dream about a boarding school in northern Ontario where a select group of students were learning magic instead of whatever subject they were supposed to be learning. It was pretty cool, as I’m a big fan of the whole “magic school” plot. Then I woke up, lay in bed grinning at the awesome dream for a few minutes, and then suddenly had a brainwave about a novel I’ve been struggling with. Eureka!

Apart from containing a school which technically teaches magic, but not really, because they’re mostly preparing themselves to fight giant elemental monsters, the dream had very little to do with my novel. But something about the dream triggered a spark in my brain, and led me to the solution I’ve been otherwise unable to come up with on my own.

Three big cheers for dreams and imagination! Hip hip, hurray!


NaNoWriMo update:

Yeah … it’s going pretty miserably, not going to lie. I’m at something like 4.5k words. It’s bad. On the plus side, I have made some strides in figuring out how the story will progress, so even if I only break 10k by the end of the month, at least I’ll have a solid foundation to work from in the future!

How’s everyone else’s NaNo dreams going?


Unrelated media of the day:

This comic (by illustrator “Strangely Katie”) is fairly long, but it’s a really cute story, so I suggest you read it all the way through! Click here to view the artist’s website.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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25 thoughts on “Who needs a muse when you have dreams?

  1. That comic! My heart! Aaugh!

    It’s jolly when a dream actually provides a useful idea — as opposed to the rest of time, when you just wake up questioning the point of half of your mind’s goings-on.

    And while 4.5K may not be much by mid-NaNo standards, it’s a much better start than zero!

    • To quote internet speak, “The feels! The feels! My hearts can’t take it!”

      Hahaha, I know, right? Usually I wake up from my dreams and go “… what?” It was such a nice change that I just had to share it 😀

      I appreciate your kind words 🙂 Sadly, I also know that 4.5k is pathetic compared to where I’m supposed to be. Alas. Onwards and upwards!

  2. And in return for posting Bee and Puppycat, I see you presented me with a beautiful comic. 🙂 I read the whole thing and totally loved it!
    Also, heck yeah man, dreams are great. Usually I have ones like you described (and might have had that one verbatim,) but sometimes I have slightly more lucid dreams that make great stories. And even when they don’t, I’ve had those same moments–when suddenly the stars really DO align, and give you that missing piece you’ve been tearing your hair out looking for, and contemplating cutting other pieces just so they’ll fit in the hole.

    • I did indeed present you with a beautiful comic! In internet speak, “The feels! The feels!”

      Dreams are the best. And they get even more awesome when you’re stressed out, like during exams, because they’re pretty much your only escape from reality.

  3. Often, when I get writer’s block, the answer comes in a dream. My suconscious knows what it’s doing. 🙂

  4. I’m still hanging onto a dream I had over 15 years ago. It was bizarre and disturbing, but it did have a “plot,” of sorts. It will turn into a story one day.

  5. Beautiful comic! Dreams can be so awesome. I believe that for writers we often find solutions to our writing issues through our dreams. It happens a lot to me. Congrats on doing NaNoWriMo. I can’t do it this year, but maybe next year. I’m still working on the story for NaNo from last year. 🙂 At least you are writing…that’s the important part, right?

    • That’s true! Even if it’s only like 50 words a day, writing is still writing 🙂 I really like that idea — that we find solutions to our life/stories in our dreams. I wonder if I can use that somehow … like, think really hard about a particular problem before I go to sleep, and then hopefully my dreams will assist me in the solution. Then again, if I think really hard about a problem, I’ll never fall asleep. Hmmm …

  6. Eden Royce

    I keep a notebook by my bed to record the dream that give me inspiration because for me, they can fade so quickly in the light of day…

    • That’s smart! I used to do that when I was a kid. I actually have a little pink, flowery notebook with three or four dreams recorded inside that I re-read whenever I do a thorough cleaning of my room and come across my keepsakes box. They were weird. I was a weird kid, lol.

  7. I don’t know where that came from, but I dreamt that Adrian Paul lamented the lack of success of the later Highlander movies, so I told him that the first one came out at the right time: With fantasy movies in abundance in the 80s, it combined different familiar elements (sword fights + modern day) to create something exciting and new.
    After I woke up, I went to imdb and looked up the release dates of Conan (1982), Red Sonja (1985) and Highlander (1986). The thing is, I always just attributed the success to it being a better movie than the others in the series. Didn’t expect that from a dream.
    As for NaNoWriMo, it’s not going well. My profile there says 3062 words, but I need to update the +600 from the weekend. Still, it’s a poor perfomance, but I do hope to be able to keep those 3.6k words, so it’s not a complete disaster.

    • Are you by any chance currently pursuing a major in film studies? That might explain your awesomely detailed dream 🙂

      Ahh, don’t worry about NaNo. Although I’m proud to announce I just updated to … wait for it … 5880 words! Booya! Our new goal is to hit 10k. We’ve got 12 days. We can do it!!!

      • Alas, no film studies – my twitter description says “scientist, emerging writer, game designer”. Anyway, I had that dream about two months ago and I do blame Brandon Sanderson in part for it, because of his “strange attractors” theory. I don’t know where the highlander part came from, but was very pleased that my fantasy movie examples I mentioned to Adrian Paul within the dream still held up when I woke up.
        As for the 10k, I would actually be happy, if I beat last year’s total of around 6.6k.

  8. I’ve stolen an idea or two from dreams–but most of mine that are set in a school involve tests I haven’t studied for, long mazes of hallways, or endless research papers. o_O

    NaNo’s going well for me so far, at 30k. But it’s the end of the month that’s always busy for me, so no guarantees I pass the finish line. But I’m going to try! Either way, we do what we can, right?

    • My secret to having really bizarre dreams is eating way too much food right before bed. Try it out and see if it works for you 🙂 Also, any resulting stomach aches are not my fault!

      30k — nice! We certainly do what we can. I went on a nice long walk today and got some ideas for my NaNo story, so hopefully I can beef up my word count later this evening. Shooting for 8k. Booya!

      • I do have bizarre dreams–about being a zombie hunter, or a secret agent, or a shapeshifter, etc. No late night snacks required. And then there are the more ‘normal’ dreams.

        Though I did have one where the school was some sort of evil version of Hogwarts, with hallways warping and changing so you could never find your way to class… o.o

        Good luck with your writing! You can make it! 😀

  9. Dreams are a great source of inspiration. Embrace them and the weirder the better 🙂

    Great Unrelated media of the day. 🙂

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