Some writers are lucky, they get their story ideas in dreams, when their sub-conscious mind is hard at work. The next morning the idea remains in their mind and they start developing it. Stephenie Meyers got the idea for twilight in a dream. One of my crit partners Kim Koning too gets quite a few ideas in her dreams. For J.K.Rowling, the idea for the Potter series fell into her head fully formed during a train journey.
Jorge Amado, the famous South American writer regarded himself as a ‘professional dreamer.’ He often said that the greater part of his work was conceived in dreams and he wrote down the images and visions he remembered on waking up. These images were incorporated in his books. “All I am,” Amado said, “is a hard working recorder of dreams. If I didn’t have dreams, I wouldn’t know what to write about.”
One of the most famous writers to draw inspiration from his dreams was Gustave Flaubert. He normally slept five hours a night, but he said, “the sixth hour of my sleep is given over to dreaming.” He would reach for his notebook on waking up and record his dreams, referring to his notes when he wrote his novels and stories.
Though I see a lot of dreams, so far I have never been inspired by a dream. My dreams are just that; dreams. No writing happens due to the dreams. My story ideas come to me from random sources. Sometimes, it’s a title that has been playing around in my mind. The title then inspires a story. At other times it could be a picture I have seen somewhere. Yes, pictures in magazines, newspapers and even blogs inspire me by planting story ideas in my mind.
More often than not, a character jumps into my mind and he or she urges me to write their story. A couple of my books have come out of short stories.
Where do you all get inspiration for your stories? Who or what inspires you? Do dreams spark the seed for an idea? We all would love to know all about it.