I have very vivid dreams. Last night I got splattered with flesh-eating slime and missed cleaning a bit off my foot. It had eaten through a large portion of my heel before I discovered my mistake. A few nights before that I had a pet native Australian cockroach (something I would like in reality) but this one started trying to burrow into my spine. As I was trying desperately to pull it out of my back without ripping its head off, a friend casually commented that ‘yeah, everyone knows they do that.’
These dreams will not be making it into my stories. In fact I don’t think any of my stories has ever been inspired by a dream. I have heard a lot of writers say their dreams were their inspiration, but I wonder if what they really mean is their day-dreams or fantasies.
All my stories come out of fantasies. I’m not talking about the fifty shades variety, I mean those where you think about all the great things you should have said to that boyfriend ten years ago when he dumped you. Or when you wonder what would happen if the bus you were on was suddenly transported to another planet. Who would you become friends with? Who would you fight with?
I spend at least half an hour each day in fantasy. Sometimes I’m with characters I’ve put on paper, sometimes with others who will never make it out of my head. So if you see me staring out the window with that glazed look, there is a good chance I’m in a whole other dimension.
I wonder if maybe we have it the wrong way around. Is it because writers spend so much time in other worlds that they have such vivid dreams?