writeafirstnovel

follow a rookie writing his first novel

Dreaming a novel

Where do you get your ideas for stories from? Me, I dream them up. Nearly all of the good ideas I get come in the form of a dream. These dreams are a different quality from the ordinary every night anxiety dreams; I have come to identify them as ‘story’ dreams. The eventual stories aren’t always an exact replica of the dream, but the dream is the core of it. the advantage of this is that I have a clear visual representation of the characters, the scenes, sounds and pretty much everything else.

I always like to write down the bare bones of the dream as soon as possible after waking, not because I might forget the dream (the quality of these dreams is that they stay with you for a long time – more like memories than dreams), but as an aide memoir for converting into scenes. In used to use a note pad but more recently changed to the PC app ‘Evernote’ as I can combine the notes with pictures, web addresses, video and anything else along the way that relates to the story. Then when I write it I use Scrivener.

I came across a free application this week called ‘MindMaple’. It’s a mind mapping tool. I’ve tried some of these in the past and given up either because they are not intuitive enough, or the display too rigid for what I want. This app suffers from none of the above. If you have ever used any Microsoft app, then you will pick this up straight away – and unbelievably, its free! Now rather than just write a piece of text to represent the dream, I can map it out and add text to support each bubble in the map, which is much closer to how dreams feel. Try it out for yourself, you’ll be amazed…

 

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2 thoughts on “Dreaming a novel

  1. I wish I could get ideas from dreams, and at times I have considered it. My dreams are extremely elaborate, half-hour-long affairs with plots, minor characters, etc. But the problem is that my subconscious seems to pull the content of my dreams from various copyright sources — e.g. movies, tv, and books. So I’m not just racing to save my lover from an exploding space station – I’m racing in a podracer through Fangorn forest to go save … etc. On the other hand, the dreams are *very* fun! 🙂

    • I know what you mean Michelle. My dreams have elements of that, mixed in with original stuff. Mostly its characters that are ‘duplicated’ – for example, a recent ‘baddie’ looked like Keeley Hawes (no offence Keeley) – I take this as my subconscious acting as a casting agent, so in this case I would make sure that the baddie would take on some of the looks and attributes of said Ms Hawes when I write it 🙂

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