On Nightmares and Dreamscapes

I swear that’s the name of a Stephen King novel, but it isn’t what I’m talking about today. Most people on here know about the one book I’ve written. And I think most people also know I have completely stopped writing altogether. But I do want to start again at some point in the future.

Which is where this post is coming from. I had a dream last night, and it got me wondering if any of you all have had a dream or nightmare one night and then proceeded to somehow start writing a story from it. It isn’t something I’ve really thought of happening at this point because is seems like some freak thing that just happens without any prior notice. But writing isn’t an exact science, I imagine people have all kinds of odd stories and quirky tales of how a story eventually came together. But now I’m imagining a nightmare involving an old lady with an ax turning into a novel. Welp.

Have you ever used a dream and/or nightmare to start or continue a story? I haven’t. But I’m not really writing anything.

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20 thoughts on “On Nightmares and Dreamscapes

  1. Yep, my novel Scripting the Truth, came from a dream I had. I wrote it down in my ideas book and one nano it came to life.

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  2. I almost completely rely on dream-stories when I participate in the NYCMidnight contests. They give you a prompt on Friday at midnight (NY Time… so it’s earlier for me in AZ). I almost always have no idea what I’m going to do with said prompt when I go to bed. And then I almost always have some sort of whacked dream that points me in the right direction. Here’s to hoping that keeps working, because Round 1 of NYCM Flash Fiction 2016 starts this Friday. ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • I’m wondering about these “whacked dreams” now. An example? I’m not aware of these NYCMidnight contests.

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      • They do a few per year… I participate in the Short Story and Flash Fiction competitions. They’re prompted and times. You’re given a genre and a set of criteria (a location and an item; a theme and a character) and you have to produce on-or-under a set word count in a given amount of time. The Flash contest that starts this weekend is 48 hours to write a story of 1000 words or less. Some prompts I’ve had in the past are “Horror/A Museum/Tracing Paper” and “Spy/A Pharmacy/A Dictionary”… among many others. The best part of the contest is the forums, though. After all the entries are in for each round, we post links to our stories in the forums, and everyone ends up with several cross-reads and some excellent feedback.

        http://nycmidnight.com Entry deadline for flash is tomorrow, I think… if you’re so inclined ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. I get a lot of ideas from dreams, not sure why, but it makes sleep entertaining.

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  4. A lot of my stories have come from dreams, especially my villains. Oh, and Nightmares and Dreamscapes is one of King’s short story collections.

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    • Hmm. That must mean you experience more nightmares than dreams? Or they’re just categorized all into one type for you. And got it, though I’ll likely never read it since I’ve still never read any of his work.

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  5. Oh I’ve tried!
    It was a short fiction called “The Screech”, my first (and possibly last) thriller. I haven’t gotten around to finish it and I started it months ago!
    The dream that I got are all fragmented and it is taking me a long time to piece together all that I can remember (poor memory).
    That’s probably why it’s so far my only try on putting my dreams onto paper. I wish i could dp it more often.

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  6. Well, all ideas for good or great books come from the most unexpected sources, and a nightmare fits into that category. otherwise, in my opinion, the book without some sort of inspiration may it be from a nightmare or any other personal experience may seem flat, and a reader would feel the disconnection of the author with the book itself.
    It’s quite interesting you had the urge of starting a new novel because of a nightmare you’ve seen !
    I’ve always had my inspirations for my short writings come to life at the weirdest of moments.

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