Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dream Weaving: Where My Stories Start

With NaNoWriMo going on, I'm motivated to write a post about my writing.

Currently, I'm actively writing three stories. (Not the traditional NaNoWriMo route, I know, but I will have 50,000 words done.) I have another two manuscripts completed and at least six waiting in the wings, either partially written or outlined. When I tell people this, they are flabbergasted.

"Where do your stories come from?"

It's not the first time I've been asked this question. My stories come from dreams. I've realized, after talking to many friends and family members, that I don't dream quite normally.

Most of my sleep is used for active dreaming. I suppose I do have dreams that others would call nightmares. I've been set on fire by ghosts in the afterworld and walloped by Frankenstein on a playground. I've woken up in pain and crying after running through my neighborhood at night when velociraptors or murders are chasing me. Still, I call these adventures rather than nightmares. 

When I dream a dream that I've had before, I can manipulate and change my actions so I can see new end results. I suppose it's similar to alternate endings in video games. However, I don't call it lucid dreaming because I'm not always aware that I'm dreaming. 

If I wake up slowly enough, I can remember dialogue and character's names. I can remember sequences of events and even link one dream to another as if it were episode one and episode two. When I take part in the dreams, I have extensive and vivid memories of a life that never was. I meet new people and sometimes take close friends or family members and insert them into my dreams. 

Honestly, I spend an abnormal amount of time dreaming or daydreaming even though I really don't sleep more than 8 hours. Almost every morning, I review the dream I've just had. As I get ready for the day, I hook my music into the bathroom speakers and listen as certain songs take me on mental trips about my characters or scenes I've yet to write.

No matter what I do during the day, I'm thinking about writing or I am writing down a scene at least once every hour. I do this in between classes as a substitute teacher, watching unrelated television shows, reading manga online, and even eating.

My most active writing happens in the stillness of night. Everything from the day comes together and my mind moves with dialogue and memories.

Following that I fall into dream world again.

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