Most of the time, I have no idea where my story ideas come from. I will have a passing thought and an entire world will bloom from there. My current WIP, Keeper of the Wild Places, the first in my new historically inspired light fantasy romance series, was like this. I had a thought, about a figure walking through the trees, about the diffrence between the civilised world of people and the world of the wild, where so many unspoken things happen, where magic exists in the breath of wind. I didn’t know much more than this before I started exploring the world. And I couldn’t tell you precisely where the thought came from, only that it appeared.
Sometimes, though, my story ideas come from someplace deep inside my mind, a place that only emerges in dreams. Most of the time, my dreams are either so ordinary that I forget them completely even before waking, or enough to unsettle me in ways that I intentionally forget. On rare occasions, however, I dream something that is perfect for a story. I don’t know where the worlds come from, what it was in my thoughts that brought up something so profound and perfect, but these dreams stick with me.
Rarely do these dreams contain more than a few strong images or impressions of feelings, but they are complete in their own sense, something that contains a full story in those few fragments of memory. These are especially wonderful to tease out into a larger, more elaborate narrative, one that fits in the world of words and the minds of readers. I like being able to translate those dreams into words; the emotion from one being invoked by the other. It’s really very fascinating.
Last night, I had a dream that I think would work very well for another book in my new series. I already have the second book planned (mostly in my head, but that counts!) so I think this will be the third. I will mull it over a bit more before fully writing it down in a “detailed” plan, but I think it will work very well. And I cannot wait to share it with you all.
Do you dream? Are they forgotten or discarded? Or do you sometimes have impressions and memories that are with you forever?
(Also, thank you to my cat for being absolutely adorable while sleeping.)