Friday, April 10, 2015

The Wall: or, Dreaming the end of things

So I have mentioned before that when I am in the middle of writing a story, I dream about the characters. A lot. Sometimes it's because I will deliberately set the goal of having a lucid dream nap to work out a character issue of some sort. I need to know what will happen in a scene, just so, and the freedom of my conscious brain being relaxed and sleepy helps turn the inner critic into something that allows for more creativity. 

But sometimes it's just my brain being weird. 

Last night, I had extensive dreams about a post-apocalyptic world. It wasn't anything like my Apocalypse novel. It was more like something kind of post WW2 meets sci-fi alien invasion. There were monsters, and an extensive language system that sounds a lot like it would have been created by text messaging. The end of the world was called the "Apoc." In the dream, my kids were teenagers, and they both were in training to be "Comp Sci" professionals. You can see how this is going.... if we were all always communicating by text messages, we might like to drop some syllables out. 

In one vivid part of the dream, brick layers were walling up the bottom floor windows of a large,
© Ebolyukh | - Red Bricks Photo
institutional building that had been a shopping mall. We all lived in this place, by the way... it was a cross between the mall and perhaps a school, and our "apartments" (they were called racks) were inside. For whatever reason, I guess the monsters couldn't get in on floors 2 and up, but bricking up the low-level entrances was an answer to keep everyone safe. 

As I write it, it sounds kind of interesting, but the thing that is being left out is that WW2 post England Blitz feeling to the whole thing, too. It felt sort of, what, retro? Like, there would have been sirens in the night and gas masks and people sleeping in the Tube tunnels. (How this meshes with the bricking up of the ground floor don't ask me... my sleeping dreaming writer self wasn't concerned with that.) 

So as I was waking up this morning, my still flexible creative-brainpart was toying with the idea of the story elements, still sort of immersed in that world, as though it were real. It wasn't scary, at that time, and there was something going on with a guy who was trying to rewire an electrical line and some farming for crops... 

It's an interesting look at how stories are born. This is nothing like my Hoodoo world-ending plans. There weren't really any main characters, and I still don't know what the aliens/monsters who we were fighting looked like. As a story, the idea could go to-- nowhere. I could just shelve it and not ever write anything about it. But as a dream, it had something interesting, that made my waking up self linger for a while, exploring the story and poking around at elements that could become something else. 

In reality, I need to go work on my work in progress and write some of that story today. Get another coffee beverage, write for a 1000 word sprint or so and then move on to other things. But that last little moment of sleeping dreaming brain still wants to linger over the image of workers bricking up the entrances, this arched doorway being turned into a barrier, and the shortened slang-like language we spoke. 

So what are you thinking about today? 

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