So last week I had a terrible nightmare for the first time in many months. I rarely dream, so it’s very unusual for me to have a bad dream at all.
It was the kind where you can’t wake up, tossing and turning around in fear. It all felt so real, I thought I was trapped in an evil house and was going to die! (Ok, it seems really silly now) But that must be why it stuck with me so much once I woke up.
On the rare occasion that I have a dream, usually it dissolves out of my memory within seconds of waking. Not this time though, instead I could feel a chill in my bones and a sense of dread for a good few minutes even when I knew it wasn’t real.
Once I woke up a bit more, and got over the fear, I realised that I didn’t want to waste such an intense and powerful emotion. It was then I knew, I had a new book idea!
This new idea takes me up to 7 current stories to write.
I already thought that 6 was plenty to keep me busy for years, but now there’s another one! I definitely wasn’t searching for a new idea, and I didn’t have any new inspirations in mind either. It just came to me in a random dream, with no warning, which made me think about the unpredictable nature of ideas and when they decide to come to us.
So my first ever book idea, came to me while I was on the train to Carlisle for a holiday, last year. I was thinking about tomato sauce (I can’t remember why) then all of a sudden BAM! The idea was just there. Don’t worry, the plot of the story is not about sauce!
The 2nd came to me while I was on the bus back home from Dumfries. There was a diversion on the roads, so the bus had to take a longer, more scenic route. Strangely, the weather was very sunny and warm, and the green hills were sprawling in all directions. All of a sudden, a new idea! I actually ignored the idea at first, thinking that I should only have the one at a time. That didn’t last long though, because I couldn’t get it out of my head! I quickly realised there was nothing wrong with having another idea, and it didn’t mean I was giving up on my first.
The 3rd idea was actually one that came to me when I was around 13. I was digging around on my computer and came across my old files from when I was young. Sadly some of them had been deleted, but I found this third idea that I still love. I can’t remember what originally made me think of it when I was 13 though.
The 4th idea is actually the one that I am currently writing, and have done 23000 words of. It was also one from when I was 13 that I rediscovered, but it was a lot less developed than the other one. Again I can’t remember what inspired it years ago, but I’m certainly fond of it now.
The 5th idea came to me a few months back. It started out as one from when I was 13, but then once I rediscovered it, I realised there was an event in my life that could be meshed together with the original idea, to hopefully make a more full story. This one is by far the idea that I’ve spent the least time on, but I still like it and will definitely finish it someday.
The 6th idea is actually a pretty recent one as well. In fact, I wrote a post about it when I first came up with it, called A Craving for the Countryside! This one came to me when I was looking through some old photos that I took in a forest. I began to get a romantic, wintery feeling, and then suddenly, a new idea!
So out of 7 ideas, I’ve got 2 that I can’t remember the origins of, 1 from my personal life, and 4 that just appeared out of nowhere!
After that last one, I kind of thought the river of inspiration would be dry for a long time. Though I kind of thought that after every new idea! I really thought 6 was more than enough for a while, and I was ready to just focus on my current ones for now.
But in my opinion, it really seems like ideas and inspiration are out of our control. These things have just flown into my brain with no warning, and I kind of love that. I never know when the next one will hit, and while it’s sometimes frustrating when nothing comes, it’s also beautiful when a story appears out of nowhere. It’s exciting!
So although I didn’t have any desire for a new book idea, I’m very grateful that it happened, and I’ll try to stop worrying that the river has run dry!
In the week since the idea first came, I kind of went crazy for it. Since it was all from a nightmare, there were a lot of patches and bits missing. I had to fill in a lot of gaps to make it a proper story idea, but I’m pretty happy with the plot now.
So I filled in the plot holes, gave the characters a more definite personality, and put more details into the setting. I ended up with around 3000 words of a summary, but I still feel like I’ve got a lot more details to add in.
This story is going to be in the fantasy genre. Since it came from a nightmare I kind of wanted it to be a bit of horror too, but I don’t think I’d be good enough to scare anyone!
I was really happy to have an idea in the fantasy genre though, because it means I have a lot of worldbuilding to do! I love lore. I just absolutely love it. I think I’ve been spoiled by playing big, long games like Skyrim or The Witcher 3. Everything you come across has a story behind it, and it just makes the universe feel so rich and exciting.
I don’t necessarily think that every single fact needs to be in the book, otherwise it’d be the size of a dictionary! But it’s fun for me to create that kind of thing anyway.
It’s not just lore that I’m looking forward to either, because I’ve given myself another worldbuilding task.
I’m creating a language!
It was when I tried to come up with names for the characters and places that I realised that English just didn’t suit this world that I had come up with. I tried my naming method, but nothing felt right.
From there, I felt like there was a natural next step, and that was to come up with my own words. But then I thought I could just keep going, and I decided to challenge myself to write a language.
So far, since Sunday, I’ve sorted out a phonics system, mostly sticking with English letters, but getting rid of some, and creating 7 of my own. (4 vowels and 3 consonants)
Once that was done, I began to think of words. I started with the colours, for some reason, but I also made it through the ones like; I, You, Them, His, Hers, What, When, Why, and that kind of thing.
Grammar is definitely going to be the last thing I do, mostly because it’s the difficult, serious bit, and I just wanted to have some fun at the moment!
I started a little translation/dictionary page on Microsoft Word, and I’ve ended up with 81 words so far! It’s not a lot, but it’s a start, and I’ve really, really enjoyed this challenge.
So I’ve been really loving this new idea and it’s atmosphere. Maybe it’s not as good as I think, but it’s one of my favourite ones yet. I can’t wait to keep going with the new language, and to keep spending time on this story.
Also, it’s been really hard to hide the plot twist from my husband. We always talk about our ideas but I want to get a natural reaction from him when he reads the finished thing, so I have to keep the ending a secret. I find it difficult to keep my mouth shut about it though, it’s too tempting to see what he thinks!
Well that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to this week, I definitely had a lot of fun. Thank you for reading!
So this week we had another bout of bad weather in my village. So bad, that our shed door has been torn off. A little visitor must’ve noticed, and decided to seek some shelter from the wind inside. I don’t blame him, and I’m glad we could provide a temporary bed (and an old duvet that had been chucked in there months ago) to wait out the storm!
Loosely based on a nightmare
Another idea is formed.
Not that I saw this one coming,
Gratefully though, it did anyway.
Until the next plot pops up,
All of my thoughts will be spent,
Gathering factoids and details,
Expanding my new universe.
10 thoughts on “From Nightmare, to New Idea! + Photo Prompt & Poem”
It’s great to have so many plot ideas for future books. And congrats on getting to 23,000 words on your current manuscript! – Susan
Thank you very much! : )
I keep a small notebook on my bedside table so that when I wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason and inevitably receive a writing idea, I can write it down. I used to just roll over and ignore the idea/inspiration thinking I’d remember it the next day, which never happened. It was a relief to realize that writing down ideas. whenever they arrive, is everything.
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That’s a great idea! I used to assume I’d remember too, but they disappear so quickly : )
You have so many ideas. Like you, sometines the idea seems to come from nowhere. I think, that it’s because dreaming, day dreaming, looking out the bus window, etc disengages your conscious mind from all your busy tasks and your subconscious mind is free to make associations and suggestions. That’s why down time us important for creativity.
Creating your own language is quite an undertaking, good luck. The great thing about sci fi is how much scope you have to build.
The cat is cute, good it found a safe spot.
Yes I agree, daydreaming is where I think of each scene that I’m going to write!
The language challenge has been really fun so far, I’m up to 131 words now that I’ve created, and it’s actually a lot easier that it seems at first.
The cat has returned for four days in a row now, I’m not sure if he has an owner.
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Cats choose their owners. Maybe he chose you…
Maybe, I still can’t tell if he has an owner or not! lol
Maybe you can ask at the local shop or a neighbour…
Aye I put on a FB post but nobody responded.