"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Upside of Nightmares

I woke up this morning after a restless night full of nightmares. I don't know what set it off, but I'm not lying when I say I spent the entire night fighting off murderers, tornadoes and even a bear. I don't mind though. As unpleasant as they may be, I find that nightmares offer great inspiration for stories.

Sometimes, when you feel the urge to write something a little darker, or a scene in which a character is truly frightened, it helps to know what that feels like. I'd prefer not to be chased by a murderer or attempt to escape a city full of tornadoes in real life, so if I want to write about it and realistically capture what it would feel like, I lean on my dreams.

It's the same reason I can't watch zombie movies too often. I love them, but whenever I watch them I have zombie nightmares all night. And I have to say, watching them on the screen is a lot less scary than actually being chased by them. So I try to limit my exposure. But having those nightmares makes it possible for me to write a piece of zombie fiction, if I so choose. I already know exactly how it feels to be chased by hoards of zombies. I know the feeling of despair when you realize you're trapped in a corner. And yet, as awful as that night's sleep was, I'm perfectly safe and able to write from a new perspective.

Where else do you find your inspiration? How do you make your own writing realistic? Have you ever found it in an unexpected place?

1 comment:

  1. I also had a long string of odd dreams last night. A man, who claimed to be a hitman, was in my kitchen. I was trying to convince him that he had the wrong the house, and that he should be at the neighbour's who need a lesson in how to be neighbourly. His surname was Wong, which just happens to also be the neighbour's surname, so we thought maybe he was related and that a revenge hit on a family member wasn't wise since everyone knows the murderer is always known to the victim.

    And then I had to go empty my bladder, and new dream started. I wrote an entire poem in my sleep, and when I woke up and tried to write it down this morning, it was total mindless rubbish. Apparently I cannot write in my sleep. :)