The Between Space

Hello, hello!  I hope those of you who had a long weekend for President’s day got to do something fun.  My weekend was quiet.  Anyway, you know that space between being awake and being asleep, where you’re never sure if you’re dreaming or if something is really happening?  That’s what I want to talk about today.  It’s the place many of my story ideas come from.  It’s not an entirely pleasant place, but it’s useful.  Sometimes.  Often, it just likes to scare me silly.  I’m really curious about other people’s relationship with this space as well, so think about sharing your own experience with me.

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Either I’m not innocent or my stuffed animals are slacking.

First, I should probably mention that I’m not a visual thinker like a lot of people seem to be, I almost exclusively think in words.  People will ask me to picture something in my mind and I can’t.  The only time I can think in pictures is when I’m super tired and drifting in and out of sleep.  When that happens, I usually start out thinking in words and they gradually morph into a kind of dream/mental movie.  I guess that’s part of my attraction to this place.  It lets me work through things differently than I normally do.

I suppose the reason that I credit this space with a lot of my story ideas is because it’s a lot easier to remember details from these half awake dreams than it is when I wake up with an idea from a normal dream.  Those ideas tend to be vague scenarios that may or may not be interesting.  They’re good story seeds, but the ideas that bloom in that weird little realm between worlds are the ones most readily written.

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And that place certainly is dark enough.

Granted, my time spent in that realm more often than not leads to nothing other than a few scares (those stupid jolt awake moments) followed by my mind running through all the horrific scenarios of what could have possibly woken me.  It’s usually noises.  There’re the bumps and thumps of zombies trying to get inside.  Werewolves are not an uncommon expectation.  The train horn usually conjures thoughts of serial killers and creepy clowns jumping off the train and murdering their way through town.  Most people (at least according to TV and movies) wake up assuming the wind or something equally as mundane unless they hear something after the initial jolt.  Not me.  My mind automatically goes to death and destruction and knows the only reason I’m not hearing anything else is because the culprit is luring me into a false sense of security.  I might’ve watched and read too much weird stuff as a kid.

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These types of thoughts usually follow the paranoia.

So, whether I’m just hanging out in the middle of random thoughts waiting to be jolted awake or having a story bloom in my head, I have an odd love for that space between waking and sleeping.  I like seeing my thoughts unfold rather than just telling myself things.  What about you?  Do you enjoy hanging out in that little realm?  Does it let you see everything differently?  As always, feel free to comment here or on my social media pages!

Dreamscapes And Stories

Valentina RemenarHowdy, howdy!  Did everyone have a nice Thanksgiving?  I must admit that I had a lovely day with delicious food and great company.  As for today’s post, I wanted to talk a little about dreams and how they influence my writing.  Why?  Because a couple of friends wanted to know if I remember my dreams and, if so, do they affect my writing in any way.  The short answer is: occasionally.  The dreams I do remember tend to be boring every day type things (usually just conversations with a random person) or terrifying nightmares that I bury deep down inside my mind.  There’s rarely anything between the two.  But, it’s the in between that usually become stories themselves.

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Dreams by Valentina Remenar.

Most of the time, my dreams fade away as quickly as they come.  If I do remember anything, it’s usually unintelligible garbage that I ignore or, if I’m having issues with a particular story and I’m getting desperate, I sift through in the hopes of finding some magical answer.  I’ve never had anything happen that’s as fabulous as the image above, but my dreams can still be pretty cool.  In other words, while dreams are neat and sometimes helpful, they aren’t an integral part of my writing system.

If I’m lucky, I’ll find an answer to a plot problem if I really focus on a certain part of a dream.  The most recent example I have is actually from last night.  I was having one of my stupid conversation dreams (I don’t even remember who I was talking to), and the only topic that stuck out to me was a random mention of Medusa.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to insert some more hints at demons and monsters early on in G&G, but I was stuck at a part in chapter three that I had no clue how to tweak.  A version of Medusa’s powers will actually really help me out there.

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Snakes are fun.

 In extremely rare instances, I’ll come away from a dream with a story idea.  I can actually only think of two off the top of my head.  I even wrote a little synopsis of one to help me remember it:

Dream Idea – Nick has no luck with animals. The one pet he had as a kid died, and his mother refused to give details. He constantly feels like he’s being watched, and has nightmares of nothing but blood. Little does he know that two factions of shifters are after him to be their savior. One wants death and destruction, the other wants peace. Which one will win his allegiance?

This was written after a bigger story started formulating in my head.  The dream itself was actually just a kid playing outside with a puppy that ended really bad with blood and yelping and sadness.  And there were two pairs of glowing eyes in the bushes on either side of the yard.  It was weird and creepy and memorable.  I got distracted by other stories, though, so I haven’t worked on this one.

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I hope not.  My nightmares tend to be recurring.

 So, I guess my dreams influence my writing sometimes, but not as much as other things.  Daydreams, on the other hand, play a huge role in my writing.  But that’s a topic for another time.  What about you?  Do your dreams influence your creative processes?  To what extent?  Leave your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages.