dreams as inspiration

I finished the final edit of my book last night and will be sending my editor everything this week. Which means I wait for final approvals and then Legacy goes to press. I am scared shitless. Writing has always been a huge part of my life, but for some reason getting here, to this point, never seemed a reality. Now that it is I'm not quite sure what to do. I guess just hope for the best and move on to the next thing.

I had a dream the other morning that, after a few moments of consideration, has turned into the idea for my next writing project. And God knows I need something else to work on or I might lose my mind. The dream was nothing more than this: I'm on the street with my best friend and a car pulls up. Two girls laugh as they explode out of the vehicle, leaving an unconscious boy behind. In the dream I've liked this guy forever, and know I have to do something to help him. That's all it really was, but in a matter of about 10 minutes I had the plot for maybe the first third of a book. For some reason I can turn anything into a story. I don't know what people will say about my writing, and I'm not sure I care. But the one thing I know I'm good at, the one thing I will defend to the end, is my ability to craft a story.

Suddenly the girl in my dream has been a lifeguard for a few years, and thus knows CPR and is able to resuscitate the boy. What she doesn't know is that the boy is a witch, and he was unconscious for a reason - planned to die before his 18th birthday the following day. By saving his life, the girl has secured his future as the leader of the coven and unknowingly brought herself into a world she never thought possible. I can write pages from this. And all from a few minutes of a dream.

I think the reason dreams work so well as inspiration is because there's a closeness in a dream that can't be paralleled in the real world. If you can make your reader feel that close to the story then mission accomplished. For me that's what makes or breaks a story - how closely I'm able to relate to the characters. As a writer you have to make sure that no matter how fantastical the story is, there's something that anchors your characters to reality. Even the pretty and perfect have flaws, and those need to be noted so the reader has something to relate to. Why do people love Twilight so much? Because Bella Swan is every girl - she's you, she's me, she's your sister, your best friend, etc. People want to live in a fantasy - bring them close enough to it and they won't be able to stop turning the page.