By Dawn Colclasure
There are so many things that can inspire a writer and so many sources of ideas for things to write. From books, newspaper articles, a line in a song or real-life experiences, a writer can pick and choose from a variety of sources to get ideas for things to write. Books have inspired ideas for short stories I’ve written, and curiosity about something inspired me to write an article on that very topic. I even once wrote a series of articles just because I was curious about something.
But my biggest source of inspiration – as well as my favorite one – are my dreams.
Sometimes I will have what I call a “story dream.” In these dreams, I am either a central character or an observer of the story happening. Sometimes the whole story will play out in the dream, or other times, a few scenes will happen in the dream and I’ll be so inspired by this story, I’ll put the pieces together, fill in the gaps, and bring that story to life as an actual story. I actually did this once with a short story I had accepted for publication in an anthology, a story about a haunted house called “The Old Coats House.”
On other occasions, the story will play out in entirety and I’ll wake up to write the whole thing. This happened with another short story I wrote called “Looking For You,” also published in an anthology.
Then there was the whopper of a dream story I had – a story that lasted for 15 years, in fact! Now it’s not often I’ll dream about the same person, even a man I don’t know, for 15 years. This made me reconsider the dreams, and that maybe they were not just dreams after all. Maybe they were something I really needed to pay attention to!
These dreams inspired me to write my novel, Shadow of Samhain. The man in my dreams, Jonathan, was not a Druid, but I turned him into one in the story in order to make the story work.
Dreams continue to fascinate and amaze me. Even today, after two decades since the very first dream of Jonathan, I am still interested in the subject of dreams. I like reading about dream symbols, dream analysis and interesting experiences people have had because of their dreams.
And, of course, I also enjoy looking to my dreams as a source of ideas for things to write. Who knows what I’ll end up dreaming about next ... and what my dream will inspire me to write? I can’t wait until I fall asleep again to find out – or, should I say, dream about!
BIO: Dawn Colclasure is a writer who lives in Oregon. Her articles, essays, poems and short stories have appeared in several newspapers, anthologies, magazines and E-zines. She is the author of fourteen books, among them BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents; 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat The Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity; Love is Like a Rainbow: Poems of Love and Devotion and the children’s book The Yellow Rose. She is co-author of the book Totally Scared: The Complete Book on Haunted Houses. Her novel, Shadow of Samhain, was just published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing.
Visit her website at: http://dmcwriter.tripod.com/
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