Dreams as Inspiration

by | Oct 7, 2022

My dreams are frequent sources of story inspiration, delivered sometimes in the tiniest of bites: a single sentence, a character name, a opening scene.

THIS morning, my dreaming brain handed me a whole-ass Major Plot Development. It handed me The Thing I’ve been waiting for, The Thing that ties a couple of story threads together. And now this book I’m working on knows where it’s going.

Or I know where I’m going with it.

The book is tentatively titled Magic Undermined and it will be the fourth Calliope Jones novel. (Or, maybe it’ll be the first book in the Calliope du Sang series, seeing as our intrepid 43 year-old heroine now goes by her *true* last name. Hmm, got to think about this.) I’ve been adding chapters to the story over on Wattpad, using that platform as a way for me to stay accountable to Calli, Harper, Leilani and other characters.

Here are two things you can do to invite inspiration into your dreamtime:

  • As you settle into bed, relax your facial muscles, your fingers, any place where you know you hold tension. Then, picture the scene, idea, or story you’re working; acknowledge what perplexes you; or what feels like a blockage; or is just plain uninspired. Ask your mind for help. Ask yourself a question, or ask your character a question. Stay in that relaxed place. Let your mind know you trust it to sort through its treasure trove of inspiration while you sleep.
  • Keep paper and pen, or your phone, beside your bed. I have one of those pens that lights up. I love it because it shines red and doesn’t make me squint in the dark. If you wake up from a dream, or with an idea, write it down as soon as you can.
  • Try to not rush out of bed when you first wake. Often, that’s when the tail ends of idea-threads are being pulled back into your subconscious. Reach for your paper and pen, or go to your desk, and write down everything you can recall. You don’t have to try to make sense of it; what’s important is to capture it before it disappears.

Good luck and happy, productive dreaming!

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