Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It Started With a Dream

Did anyone catch the interview with Stephenie Meyer on Oprah last week? I'm not an Oprah fan and I haven't read any of the Twilight series, but I was really interested to see this interview. And, I'm so glad I did.

For the writers who stop by now and then, this is probably such old news to you, but I was shocked when I found out Stephenie was "just a mom". The author of the most sought-after young adult fiction books with crazed fans across the globe was just a mom who had a dream.

A dream! Not the "I dream of becoming a famous writer" kind of dream. The "I've got three kids under five, I'm so sleep-deprived I'm lucky if I nap long enough to even begin a dream" dream!

Holy crap! I think that's simply amazing.

The woman had no writing background. No aspirations of becoming a writer. No deep fascination with vampires. Heck, she didn't even realize she was writing a novel until she was done. (I'll bet she's also one of those women who didn't know she was pregnant until the baby fell out while she was running a marathon.) She was just "having fun, escaping into a fantasy land" recording what she saw in that one dream.

And then she went on to write three more books in the series at a rate of one per year?! That was some frickin' dream! Her mattress company should be beating down her door begging for a testimonial.

I decided there must be something to this dream business. In a writing book I was reading a while back, it also said to pay close attention to your dreams and record them when you wake up. "Relax yourself before you go to sleep and tell yourself you will remember your dream when you wake," the author suggested.

Well, I tried it, but either I am dream-impaired or destined to write a story about...

1) having to go to the bathroom (#2) and the only bathroom stalls available are either taken, clogged or those ultra bizarrely shaped toilets that have no seats and you'd never sit on it in a million years, not even with one of those paper toilet seat covers. What are those toilets supposed to be used for anyway?


2) not being able to graduate from college because I didn't go to one class all semester and there's no way I'll pass the final (and then I wake up truly wondering if I did, indeed, graduate. It takes me forever to remember that I did because it was so many years ago that I'm already starting to forget. You'd think I should be over this type of dream by now, wouldn't you?)

Not sure there's a best-seller in either of those, but I have them often enough that they must mean something. Anyone here a got a clue what that might be? Do I really want to know?

What about you? Do you have any recurring dreams or have you gotten any story ideas from dreams?


Anonymous said...

I don't have many recurring dreams, but I have very weird dreams on a nightly basis. Problem is, I can't remember them when I wake up. I always think they'd make a great movie script though. I DO have that same dream about forgetting to go to a class all semester and thinking I'm not going to graduate. Another variation is that I have to go back to HS to finish up some classes I forgot to take.

Be patient - maybe your dreams are holding out til they have something really great to give you. (I hope it doesn't involve vampires or wizards.)

Kim said...

Fawn - Yes! I have the variation dream too. I don't think I can go on to college b/c of missing HS classes. Then, I really wake up wondering if I did go to college! Glad I'm not alone.

And, yes...no vampires or wizards please, Dream Weavers. Those boats have already sailed.

Lisa and Laura said...

Hmm...I don't know. Am I the only one who's skeptical of this, "I was just recording my dream and had no idea I was writing a novel" stuff? I'm so mad I missed the interview, but that sort of rubs me the wrong way. Writing a novel is hard work. I have a hard time believing that someone just did it on accident after one very detailed dream.

Kim said...

Lila- I was thinking that too. Hence, the "I didn't know I was pregnant comment." But, I do believe that the dream deeply inspired her, and that she did originally start writing it out for herself, not with the immediate thought to publish it as a novel.

If I think about it, she did make it sound easy, but since I know it's not I didn't come away with that idea. I came away from the interview inspired that she was "just a mom" before the book.

Ok...so now when Oprah calls you two to be on her show tell her you want a face-off with Stephenie b/c you need to set her straight! I'll definitely set my DVR for that one.:)

storyqueen said...

One of my books came from a dream...it's a children's picture book. I dreamed there was this little book that showed the small things people do to make the world better. I woke up and wanted to buy the book to read to my class, then I realized I dreamed it...so I wrote it.

Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace


Kim said...

Shelley- That is so cool! I guess there really is something to this dream business. I'm going to go read your book. It sounds inspiring! Thanks for sharing. :)

ChefDruck said...

Some of my writing friends suggested that we write down our dreams every morning and use them as a writing prompt. I didn't find it a good prompt, but I did enjoy grabbing the filaments of my dreams before they disappeared every morning. My dream life is so much more interesting than my real life, even though it never makes much sense.

I can't wait for the movie this weekend, but my husband is so annoyed that I'm going to drag him to see it. I so hope it's better than the first one.

Abby said...

A friend told me about that interview & as a writer, I was fascinated for the same reasons as you. LOL: the pregnant comment!

I had a dream that my garage collapsed. Boom, flat as a pancake in the yard. And we don't even HAVE a free-standing garage. What's that about??

Kim said...

Vanessa - So, no blockbuster novels in your dreams either? How was the movie? I haven't read any of the books, but how do the movies compare?

Abby- Oohhh, I'd love to figure out the collapsing garage dream. Maybe you feel like something close to you, but not your family or house itself, is about to fall apart? But, if it's only a one time dream, maybe it's a good picture book idea instead. :)