I don’t know about other writers, but I dream plots. Often I wake up in the middle of the night caught up in one of these intricate dreams and think, “Wow, this is a great book.”
I dream entire plots. It must be the writer in me. Half asleep, these book dreams, complete with lots of layers of story and plot, seem amazing. However, when I am actually awake, they tend to fall apart.
Last night I had a dream that even asleep I realized was a good mystery. I liked all the characters and I really wanted to know how it ended – until I realized that the “prize” everyone was so determined to find was no Maltese Falcon. It was a meatball.
I have no idea what that was about except it could be the diet I’m on.
My daughter and I were questioning recently where crazy dreams come from. I have very bizarre dreams and so does she. Years ago when I was doing a book about people who kill while sleepwalking, I learned that it is often hereditary. Sleep walking and weird dreams – not killing people while asleep, though it could be hereditary too. Maybe those people didn’t get a chance to reproduce.
I used to be a sleepwalker. At college, I would wake up at the top of the stairwell and wonder where I’d been. My daughter said the same thing happened to her – but she would wake up outside. Scary at the time.
Some dreams are pretty easy to figure out. After I sold my first book, a friend and I went to a writers’ conference on the west coast. I woke that night standing on my bed, hands against the wall, screaming. In the nightmare, I was on the outside of a spaceship, clinging to the rough metal. The spaceship was turning slowly and I was about to drop off into…that’s just it, I didn’t know what was out there. I do now. No wonder I was so terrified. ☺
It didn’t take much to figure out that dream. I was headed into alien, scary territory.
My favorite dreams are the ones where I get to fly. Those are supposed to be happy dreams, that all is well in my world. I want more of those.
The other dreams I often have, when I’m not writing books in my sleep, are ones where I have a baby and I keep forgetting where I left it. Something important that I’ve forgotten? Who knows since I don’t have a baby I’ve forgotten anywhere.
I did have a dream once about this small group of women who lived on a cul de sac. That one was a lot like Desperate Housewives – long before the show. Except in my dream, my character discovered what had happened to all their husbands. Pretty scary stuff, my dreams are often made of.
Do you dream plots? Have nightmares? Walk in your sleep? Do you think dreams are trying to tell us something about ourselves?