I’ve always been a vivid dreamer. As far back as I can remember, I have had dreams and nightmares that felt as real as anything I experienced in my waking hours. Lately, I have allowed some of those dreams to fuel my writing. Two dreams I had in 2020 served as the catalysts for me writing my first novel, Vulcan Rising. But what of the nightmares? Those are a little harder to embrace. What if you convert your nightmares into novels or short stories?
Turn Your Nightmares into Novels and Short Stories
Nearly twenty years ago I started writing my dreams down. I have folders and notebooks that are riddled with bizarre dreams. And sometimes it seemed that the more I wrote down, it had an amplification effect. The dreams I remembered got weirder and more frequent.
So I was always hesitant to write down my nightmares. What if I had the same experience and the nightmares too increased in frequency and intensity? I can tell you I’d rather not increase the number of time I wake up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep and afraid to do so if I could, for fear that I might fall back into the same dream sequence.
But then I started having nightmares that the more I reflected on them, the more they seemed like good premises to horror and fantasy stories. So I started writing them down as well. My sleep hasn’t been more interrupted, but I do have more story ideas that I’ve been accumulating.
So when you open a story from me sometime in the future to read about what happens in your first two weeks in purgatory or why a child who was kidnapped doesn’t have any memory of his life before he was returned to his family, just know that you have these stories because I converted my nightmares into novels.
What kind of worlds can you create and how can you dazzle your readers if you allow yourself to peer into the darkness and writing down the nightmares that keep you from sleeping?