Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The story of my dreams

Ever have one of those dreams, where you wake up, and you're struck by this excited, almost spiritual certainty? I just dreamed the perfect idea for a story. Of course that sensation usually wears off once you're more awake, and your cognitive powers are firing on all cylinders, but sometimes, objectively, you see a little glimmer of something useful in your dream.

I was editing Fiersom's Brood on Friday morning, fell asleep, and woke up with one such story.

So. Editing was shot for the day. I cranked the story out, 2400 words, and then just sat there looking at it. What in the hell is it?

I have this sense that the story has value, but I have no idea how to categorize it. I thought maybe, if some of you had the time, you could pop on over to the cafe (Writer's Cafe) and have a look. Tell me what you think. Is it good? What genre is it? Crit is welcome, because, to tell you the truth, I'm thinking this might have a strong showing in a contest or two.

A short story by
Ray Veen

Comment-wise, I'd be really interested to know: have any of you ever turned a dream into a work of fiction? S'okay if you're not a writer. Have you ever had a dream that you thought would make a good story? List your ideas in my comment section, please, so that I may steal them all and go on to make a fortune in the literary world with the products of your twisted imagination.


Carrie Harris said...

Happens to me all the time. And then I write them down and go back to sleep. In the morning, I look at what I've written and spend a good five minutes making the WTF face and squinting at the paper, because it almost never makes sense. :)

Jewel Allen said...

I read your story, Ray. Jumped out at me as SciFi/horror. Excellent details and characterization, enough to make the story pop but not sleazy, which is what I wondered when I started reading :-).

I haven't had a story-dream in so long. I think my brain is too fried at the end of the day to function in sleep.

Ray Veen said...

Carrie - I LOVE YOUR BLOG. Look at my sidebar; you're already 'blogrolled'. Little disappointed, though. A twisted mind like yours must have some really interesting dreams. Care to share something I can steal?

Pink - Thanks for reading the story. Seeing how busy your blog is these days, I'm amazed that you had the time (cuz I'm sure you're getting a lot of writing done, too, right?)


Pink's comment made me realize that I need to offer up this important disclaimer:

Frank, the main character in the story, is in no way based on me. Frank is a guy I used to work with. He went from running the heart/lung bypass machine during open heart surgery, to skid-freaking-row. The man made some bad decisions and literally lost everything good in his life.

Jewel Allen said...

[Some writing, but not enough :-(]

Always have time for you, BPV.

*hands jar over* Tips are always welcome.

VeeFlower said...

I have had wonderful, exotic, brilliant dreams that I am too lazy to write down, but do enjoy telling people about them. I read your story...you know how I love short stories...it was a good story, it really got me involved as a reader. The ending really surprised me, though. I didn't see that coming!

colbymarshall said...

Not particularly, but I've had dreams where when I first woke up, I thought it'd ake a good story. But as I came out of my sleep fog, I realized it didn't make as much sense as I thought, lol

Anonymous said...

A glaring sense of unreality? Menacing machinary? A vague, open-ended ending? You've tapped your inner Kafka, my friend. Although Kafka never had topless chicks.

Usually I'm guilty of murder in my dreams. I carry around a lot of guilt. Once I killed a gas station attendant because I didn't have enough money to pay for a bag of Doritos. As I was hitch hiking out of town to run from the cops, this creepy couple picked me up and raped me. My favorite dream friend is Danny Patinkin. He's really the only one worth knowing.

Ray Veen said...

Veeflower - Glad you liked it. I'm really looking forward to getting your feedback on my book, too

Colby - I was so sure you were gonna tell us a Matt Damon dream.

Blackbird - Your dreams? Positively horrifying. I wouldn't want to be in your head at night. And even though you're the first one to share specifics, turns out there's nothing I can steal.

(I googled Danny Patinkin - nothing - is he a make-believe dream person?)

Elizabeth said...

Oh yes.
Especially lucid dreams.
In fact I do it on purpose because this is how I most easily connect to my creativity.
I love going to that demension.

Ray Veen said...

Ooo... lucid. DEMEN-sion (like demen-ted, right?).

Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth.

Carrie Harris said...

Woot! I'm already blogrolled. I didn't get you anything. Would you like a twinkie?

Okay, in gratitude, I shall share my favorite recurring dream. After I got attacked by the killer bees, I used to have this dream that giant bees were trying to eat my head. It was kinda scary, but I couldn't help but laugh after I woke up. :)

Tracey said...

Happens all the time - in fact I had such a dream last night. The problem is, most times when I tell my sister or my hubby (my sounding boards) about these dreams they shake their heads and tell me I'm warped.

Anonymous said...

Danny Patinkin is always trying to help me take down evil corporations and such in my dreams.

Madison said...

Oh, yes, I've had dreams and written them. My manga trilogy originated from a dream and I know at least one other story did too, but for the life of me I cannot think of what it is. Oh well! :-)

Madison said...

Just remembered....crazy, wild, totally doesn't make ANY sense mission trip story. Looking forward to this one!

Tracey said...

Just had a few minutes to read your story. I agree with Pink, scifi/horror. It was engaging, but left me with a creepy, uneasy feeling at the end. Good read!

Vikki said...

I always dream crazy, lucid dreams. They always lean a little toward sci-fi though, which I do not write. I had one about the earth being attacked by an alien force who turned all the land to water, and we had to live on the tip tops of mountains (which were barely jutting out of the water.)

I also dream from time to time that I'm Princess Leia...all decked out in intergalactic couture and looking for Han Solo. Those are the best (though, I never seem to actually find Han).

Anyhoo, I read your story and it totally sucked me in! I'd say definitely sci-fi...but more like the Matrix (edgy futuristic Blade Runner-ish. Okay, that's not an actual genre, but you get the idea :>)

Anonymous said...

I remember I once woke up in the middle of the night with this excellent scenario in my head. A part of me wanted to get up and write it down. Another part of me told me to fall asleep again. When the morning came, I remembered that I had had this great idea, but I couldn't recall what it was all about.
I guess it's people who don't fall asleep again who get their books published ...

Ronald L. Smith said...

Interesting story, Ray. I see the Hummer as some kind of "Hell Coach" that you board on your way to the fire below. Love the idea of the conveyor belt and a space large enough just for him to fit in.


shortensweet said...

Good story BPV - does your wife know about the almost naked easy chicks you're dreaming about?

Ray Veen said...

So, the story was supposed to be this artsy allegory thing. It's about how men crack under the pressure of their domestic responsibilities, derailed by fantasies of sex and wealth - basically wanting a more exciting life, and making self-destructive decisions. I tried not to make it too obvious because I wanted it to be thought-provoking and 'resonate', but I guess I made it too obscure. Cindy said, "so... the machine turns them into women?" (ain't she cute?)

I've got lots of other writerly things going on, so I guess I'm gonna let it be. Thanks to all you wonderful commenters. I love you almost as much as my own children.