Dreams – day or night? Maybe both, eh?

28 May

If you’re a writer, your imagination never sleeps.  Of course, if you dream while you’re sleeping, your conscious may not recall it, once you wake up. But – suppose you wake up in the middle of the night, for whatever reason, and there’s this truly amazing idea running around loose in your head. What do you do about it?

Well, to be sure, it isn’t always possible or even a good idea to start up the computer in the middle of the night, just so you can make notes. There’s an alternative, you know. Remember that paper and pencil (or pen) that you used to use in school? I promise you, they’ll work just as well for this purpose as does your computer. And furthermore, if you look hard enough, you can find a pen that’ll light up to illuminate whatever you’re writing down. I will say it does help to have white or at least light-colored paper for these midnight inspirations.

I have an entire mini-legal pad (the 5 x 8 inch size) full of such notes, produced during a two year period, when I was probably the most creative I’ve ever been. I was working on several books, a play or two, song lyrics, poetry – you name it – all at the same time! But I’ll tell you what – those midnight scrawls stand up as well today as they did ten or so years ago! Some of them have even made their way into published materials.

I think the most recent time this happened to me was in January of this year – 2014. I wanted to publish a Regency novelette, but I couldn’t quite figure out a major plot element. Even though this story was only to be about 10,000 words, it still had to make sense, and I was stuck! Big-time. It was so irritating. And then, one morning, the whole plot presented itself to my bleary and blurry eyes! I couldn’t believe it, and really hurried to get the ideas on paper before anything could interrupt my progress. An Improbable Duke was indeed published as a Kindle book on February 16, 2014.

When I was writing my very first book Bertie’s Golden Treasure in January, 1988, there was a plot point that eluded me. I thought about it quite often during a particularly gnarly couple of days, and then whoopee! There it was – the result of a dream. I was thrilled, and several people have remarked favorably about it through the years.

But I’m really small stuff in this department, compared to my good friend Sandra Heath of England, who has written and had published more than 70 Regency novels in the last thirty or so years.  A little secret here – she cheats! She has been known to dream entire novels in one night’s sleep! Don’t get between her and her computer, let me tell you! If I don’t hear from her for a day or two – chances are, she’s busy writing down the specifics of a dream she had. 

Another friend of hers, has also had this sort of success. So, I think it’s safe to say, if you get stuck in your writing, think about it BIG-TIME as you drift off to sleep. And if/when a sudden deluge of words and ideas presents itself to you, WRITE!! Fast.  You won’t regret it.

Questions?  Comments?  Send them to me:  BookmechanicATgmail.com 

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2 Responses to “Dreams – day or night? Maybe both, eh?”

  1. James A. Miller May 28, 2014 at 2:02 am #

    Great post Kelly!

    Its amazing how fast dreams can fade. Right after you wake up, a dream can be so vivid that you’d swear you’ll never forget it, but about the time I am jumping out of the shower, it’s lost.

  2. Liz Tobin June 8, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    Kelly, this is your french horn buddy from HPHS. I was Betti Vestevich then and am now Liz Tobin. I read in one of our reunion booklets about your name change but until I found your blog enroute to looking up Betty Scappaticci Kaiser, had no idea of your life as a writer, among other pursuits. Good for you! Hope to be in touch. We’re in Dexter, MI now, by way of a few years in the U.P., after raising our family in Farmington. Was thrilled to find Betty’s comments to you. And I will pick up Ardenwycke.

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