Is it strange that I like scary dreams? Or weird dreams? Or dreams which follow movie-like story arcs, from which I wake up more exhausted than when I went to sleep?
Probably not. They seem to be great for inspiration.
Take my current project (tentatively titled either Dead Girl Walking or simply Jo). It grew from a dream I had months ago. In it, I sat on the bed in my freshman year college dorm room (Freeman Hall at Montclair State, in case you wondered). A knock came at the door, and it popped open. Two girlfriends (no one I recognized from real life) walked in. One was very giggly, and the other was very serious.
She walked straight to me, while the giggly girl perched on my roommate's bed across the room.
The serious girl sat beside me.
"I'm dead," she said. "I just thought you'd want to know. If you don't believe me, just smell. I think someone embalmed me."
And then I woke up.
It's now more than 50,000 words of novel, and I probably have about 20,000 words left to write of the rough draft, and I have to say, I LOVE it. I've had such a fun time writing about how this girl came to be a conscious, walking, dead person.
So last night I had a full-fledged zombie dream. I mean, they were everywhere, like swarms of angry fire ants, eating everything in their path. It was scary and intense.
But then, someone figured out that there was some material (it came from a magician's bag-o-tricks, no lie) that, when held up to one's face, made people invisible to the zombies. It was like some weird invisibility cloak.
There was actually a scene in the dream in which hundreds of people and zombies merged together in one building, doing this macabre, graceful dance, in which the zombies hunted for people, and the "invisible" people avoided contact.
And then, one of the "invisible" people was infected while invisible, and that created a sort of mutated, even more horrific zombie, who could see through all the invisibility cloaks.
It was freaky, and even after I woke up I was a little terrified.
But man...if I can use that somehow? It's pretty cool, right? Mmm...pretty cool.
(And for the record, I don't mind sharing ideas...what you write with the above idea would probably be WAY different from what I write with the same idea...and I believe, quite firmly, that every story has already been told, dozens of times.)
Happy weekend, everyone!