Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Writer and Nocturnal Wanderings of the Dreaming Mind

Had an intriguing dream last night that I was part of a theatrical group and it appeared the woman in charge of make-up was a serial killer. The night before opening night, she offed us one by one and did so with an interesting psychological motive that centered around the reveal that she had a glass eye she lost in a traumatic childhood injury that resulted in a psychotic hatred of people with normal vision.

Note to self: No more pizza before bed.

An amazing number of works that I have published have been inspired by dreams, but they are not retellings of the dreams themselves.

A note to aspiring writers: dream symbolism is, regardless of the copious books written on the subject, not necessarily universal, but highly subjective. What moved you so strongly in your nocturnal wanderings could be quite boring to others and many times writers lack the words to convey the emotional power of potent dream imagery.

However, you can use the dream as an inspiration of a story. Coventry House and Yew Manor are two novellas that found their inspiration in their dreams, but the plots, the characters, are deliberate insertions to make the story more interesting to my readers, but I still retained an echo of the emotional power of the inspiration that gave me the ideas that inspired the stories. The third novella in my "magic house" trilogy has the working title Tyson Mansion and continues with the inspiration I found from that one powerful dream and is probably closest to it in its plot line.

H. P. Lovecraft and others used their dreams as fertile ground for story ideas. Just remember that the resulting story has to be revised so its power is available to all, not just to you as the writer.

And above all, keep writing.

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