Most of us get things stuck in their head, from time-to-time. After watching the new Aladdin trailer the other night, for some odd reason the “Prince Ali” song was rolling around in my head the next morning. I couldn’t get rid of it, not even in the shower (which is another whole level of embarrassing) until I put my headphones on, started the Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, soundtrack and got on the metro.
Beyond that, dreams put things in my head that helps me in my writing. The problem I have is that it’s usually four-to-five different things at once. I’ve started the outlines for three different novels in the past month, and on top of that, I had a distinct dream last night that gave me an idea for another project. I love it when the “creative juices” start to flow (it’s better than writer’s block) but it can also be considered on overload.
My dreams have always been a big part of the inspiration I draw on for my novels. I think it’s a culmination of years of playing Dungeons & Dragons and video games, reading comic books and various sci-fi/fantasy novels, and watching anime, Saturday Morning cartoons, and everything from Star Trek to Game of Thrones. All that “input” has to go somewhere and it’s usually into my dreams.
It’s amazing how this play acts out in my head, but it can also be quite frustrating. I CAN’T GO BACK TO SLEEP! When I wake up from this incredible dream with a story playing out right before me, it’s so damn hard to get back to sleep. That’s especially difficult when I have to work the next day.
How can you compartmentalize your sleep so you can (a) you can put those wonderful dreams to good use, and (b) you can still get a good night’s sleep. Some people suggest keeping a tablet next to the bed. I tried that but I can never wake up enough to write anything down. I’m also afraid that, if I would get up to start doing that, I would never get back to sleep.
I think that’s why I am working toward being a writer, so I can wake up and start writing without having to worry about making the metro on time. It would be great to be able to write whenever these crazy ideas pop into my head. I don’t want to lose what could be a great idea to sleep.
The last time I had a dream like this was this past year. Back in June 2018, I had a simple dream–waking up on a crossroads, nearly dying, and studying magic from a hermit-like caster to become a bad-ass warrior/caster. This led me to the book I just finished writing, The Last Magus. From the original dream, six months later, I had a manuscript of more than 180,000 words. That’s the power of dreams.
I usually get my best ideas from recurring dreams, like my last one, and it sticks with me until I finish writing. So, then I know it was meant to be. I haven’t had a repeat of my dream from the other night, so I’m not sure if that’s one to go with just yet. Even still, when I close my eyes tonight, I will wait and see if another new idea hits me.
Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a paperback/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.