Tuesday, March 14, 2006
I barely ever remember my dreams, and I'm tortured by this, because every so often, awakening suddenly, I find my mind filled with strange narrative. With story! It never happens in the morning to sunshine and the sound of the dog farting himself awake at the foot of the bed -- only when I'm jarred from sleep as suddenly as a yanked thread. And when I DO remember my dreams, I'm never in them. There are... characters... in them. These dreams are haunting little movies, propelled along by something not unlike plot. I say "haunting" because I have an overdeveloped sense of creep. I adore horror. As a child I used to beg to watch scary movies. Ghosts? Vampires? Gimme!
Last year when Jim and I were in Prague, I had one of my creepy story dreams and it has slowly been piecing itself together in my mind, taking the eventual form of, I think, a novella. I am so in love with the weird sneaky nastiness of the premise I can't wait to write it -- but I'm busy on other projects now. Perhaps I'll steal some time from myself. Perhaps it will have to wait its turn.
The Drowned also was born in a dream. I woke and lay in bed with my eyes open in the darkness, thinking over what I had just glimpsed: a man was walking in a storm, at the coast, at night.He sought shelter in a damp village at the edge of the sea. But it was no ordinary village... and he fell asleep there only to wake when the tide came rushing in to swallow the place, taking him and all the rest of the damned with it. Ick. Yum. Right up my alley. I didn't know who the strange women were who would live in a village that was underwater at all but the lowest tides, but Jim & I got to talking about it one day, and Jim came up with the idea that made the whole story snick into place (I love that "snick" -- you know, you can hear it and feel it when the pieces finally fall into place with your writing). I won't give the snick away here, in case anyone wants to read it, but anyway, that was the beginning. I wrote a script for a graphic novel, Jim illustrated it, it was published by Image Comics in 2004. You can see more about it here and here. It was so much fun collaborating with Jim, receiving the first books from the publisher, signing them in a booth at Comicon.
I don't know about other people, but when I wake from creepy dreams I reach out and try to gather in all the pieces so I don't lose a single scary detail. They delight me. I wonder if I have them every night and just don't have the luck to wake in the middle of them very often? But what if I did? What if I found I had story dreams playing like nighttime TV endlessly in my mind? I already have a queue of stories and novels I want to write -- and I'm a SLOW writer. I'd better let myself sleep!
Posted by Laini Taylor at 11:49 PM