Sunday, April 7, 2013

When Dreams help you Write

No kidding.  Dreams can be a helpful part of the writing process.  The trick is remembering what you dream!

Actually, it happened to me this weekend.  My dreams have helped me before but there was a certain issue with a plot point in my second book that wasn’t quite coming together the way I wanted it to.  I’ve mulled over the issue now for a month or two but with each edit and revision, I wasn’t sure I liked the reasons behind what this particular character was doing. 

And then a dream came to me.  Well, I don’t actually remember the dream but when I woke up, I was seeing the character and my mind had an intense memory of what actually drove her to do what needed to be done. 
I woke up to an ‘Ah ha!’ moment…I absolutely love that feeling.

And then I lost it once I rolled over and fell back to sleep because I didn’t do what I’m supposed to do…reach over, grab my notepad and pencil and quickly write it down.
When I woke up again, my book was on my mind but with no specifics about the dream.  I just knew I had to get back to the book as soon as I had a good amount of caffeine in me.  At the time I didn’t realize I’d completely lost a memory that would help make sense about a critical motivating factor behind a character’s actions. 

So I went through my regular morning routine and was on my second cup of coffee while having a conversation with my husband when something hit me.  I’m not quite sure what it was…a word or a phrase maybe, but it suddenly struck me and my mind left the conversation completely.  BAM!  All of a sudden the memory flooded back to me, I felt that ‘Ah ha!’ moment again and there was no way I would let it slip by another time.  I jumped up, ran for the nearest notepad and began writing down everything that came to me. 
After that there was no going back.  I made another cup of coffee, grabbed my writing notebook and headed upstairs to my office with both Mandy and Piper on my tail (the two pups, who really aren’t pups anymore).

I’ll admit it’s funny how this works sometimes but I’m now very happy with the fact that I can move forward with that part of the story and finally away from it because the questions have been answered.  I’m now satisfied that I have been able to close a gap in the story with regard to what was motivating that particular character.  I might pretend to know what’s motivating my characters but the truth is, there are times when I have to let them tell me before I can really make sense of it.  What makes writing so interesting is how and when characters finally do give you the answers you need and yes, when life gets so busy you have a hard time hearing them through the noise of the daily grind, eventually they’ll have no choice but to tell you in your dreams.
Have a great week and here’s a great quote to finish off the post:
“Dreaming is an act of pure imagination, attesting in all men a creative power, which if it were available in waking, would make every man a Dante or Shakespeare.”
~H.F. Hedge~




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