The question I am most often asked when people learn that I am a writer is “How do you come up with your ideas?”
The short answer: I dream them. Every story I’ve written has come to me in a dream. I call these my “story dreams”. I know that a story dream has “meat” when I can recall the dream days later and still remember the details and feelings that surrounded it.
What sets a story dream apart from every other dream I have is the level of detail I see/hear/feel. In story dreams there is a purpose, characters, and feelings. I see entire scenes in my mind and wake up remembering how the characters felt and knowing their goals. I love, love those dreams! There have been times that I bolted out of bed to write something down in the middle of the night so that I would remember it in the morning (much to Mr. Kribs’ irritation).
For several days after one of these story dreams I will sit and daydream, playing out the scenes and scenarios in my head until a plot develops. I imagine I must look and act pretty spacey but I cannot snap myself out of it until I’ve watched and made notes on the key scenes. Once I’ve put my ideas down I can set the story aside and pick it up again when I have the time or motivation to fluff out the dialogue and details.
I currently have three stories just waiting for me to give them life.