Monday, January 2, 2012

Channeling Crazy Dreams Into Creative Projects

About a month ago I posted this update here about one of my short stories that had been based on a strange, Vicodin-fueled dream of mine. And although I never did sell the damn thing, I still consider it one of my better tales.

Well, looks like I've been inspired by Mr. Sandman all over again. Just, this time, minus the drugs.

Last night I had a pretty wicked dream, one that unfolded like a Stephen King story. It wasn't as wild and deranged as you might expect though, but I thought it to be quite interesting nonetheless. I woke up from it in the early morning hours before the sun had even risen. It was such a great idea for a story that I jumped out of bed and rushed into our den to dictate the dream into my iPhone.

But something told me to sit down and power up the PC, which I did. And instead of reciting the bare bones of a cool sci-fi/horror blend short story, I ended up cranking out a full-fledged outline in quick hand without pause. When I was done, I sat back and blinked, surprised that the sun had risen in the meantime. Whoa, that was intense! Somehow I had managed to perfectly capture the main essence of the dream, while at the same time roughing out the skeleton of a compelling 3-part narrative in the process.

I felt shocked. I felt proud. I felt . . . AMAZING! I went back to my pillow with a smile, but was too excited thinking about plot points to resume sleep.

Has this ever happened to you writers out there? Isn't it the most incredible feeling, like, EVAR?

When eventually I did get up for the day and finished eating breakfast, I immediately locked myself away in the den and proceeded to pound out 1,000 words of the initial draft. I get the feeling this will be one of my shorter tales, so it's possible I'm already 1/4th of the way through. It certainly feels like I'm moving along nicely. After I finish the first draft and maybe a second, I'll return to that ever progressing novel of mine. Don't worry, that's still moving along nicely. I'm not neglecting it.

I love writing!

Anyway, switching to different gears . . . if you notice my "Now Playing" sidebar on the right of the page, I've started up that game I mentioned a few months back:

I've been heavily invested in this title pretty much since the very moment I slid the disc into my Playstation 3 last week. I didn't think I would get drawn in so completely by it, but I did. The story just sucked me in LIKE THAT! This is why I love the end of the year. I get to choose from among all the great titles I didn't have time to try out during the year, and pick the one that looks like it will be the most fun. This Christmas season, as it was back in 2009, that game turned out to be an Uncharted title. And in this adventure, Nathan Drake and his compatriots travel from the London underground (literally), to a run-down medieval estate in France, to a Crusades-era castle in Syria, and now to the Arabian desert. All in search of a forgotten city of treasure lost beneath the sands.

This, for me, is the type of stuff that fuels my dreams. Which in turn fuels my writing. It's a neat "circle of life" approach to creativity, don't you agree? And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Now if I can only discipline myself to write when I need to write, and play when I need a break. But that's every writer's dilemma, I know. :)

Tomorrow I return to work since being gone for two weeks. I'm actually looking forward to a return to my normal schedule. Funny how that happens, huh?

Have a great week, guys!


  1. It hasn't happened to me in a long time, but yes, it's an incredible feeling and adrenaline that rushes through your body to your soul! I miss that feeling. Maybe tonight will be the night! ha! Happy first week back at work! I go back tomorrow too!

  2. Whatever is fueling your creatively, I WANT SOME! Could use a dose of that, right now. :)

    What a great way to start the year.

  3. Yvonne -- Yay! You know what I mean! :) And thanks, hope you have a good work week as well. I'm already looking forward to the long MLK weekend less than 2 weeks away!

    Jen -- Oh please, you have creativity just OOZING out of your fingertips! Miss "I'm about to start writing my THIRD contracted novel!" :) Okay, maybe "oozing" is not the right word. The mental image of that is rather gross, eh? But good luck anyway. It'll start flowing once you settle in and all your furniture arrives, I bet.

  4. My son says this has a quest with a train with half of the cliff falling off - somehow he thinks that's a really beautiful game...where did I go wrong?

    And dreams, I love having crazy ones - they can inspire me

  5. Kim -- I saw that moment in a trailer for the game. I've been dying to reach that point, as it looked simply breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL from what I saw. You should have him show you the scene. I think you'll get what he's saying. :)

    And I think all creative people must be crazy dreamers. It's like a requirement or something.

  6. why am i just finding your blog?

  7. Yes, Paige. Why? WHY, I ask you! :)

    Better question, at least for me: what lead you here? Whatever the reason ... Welcome!

  8. Great stuff David. Glad you wrote the story. Good luck getting back to normal schedule, I am having a tough time!


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