Friday, March 11, 2011

Epic Dream Inspires Writing

    Occasionally, I have dreams which have many qualities of an epic story.  I usually jot them down – some of them I have used as bases for stories or am saving for ideas.  As I was finishing my work on Eonia and began to turn my thoughts to the next country (which at the moment is still unnamed) I had one such dream.  I had already begun gathering bits and pieces of this new country in stories I had written, but the elements I was toying with didn’t yet fit together.  The bits I had come up with was that there were a people who were nomadic and very secretive.  They had a martial magic which was unique in Idhua, yet it didn’t make sense that they would be in any kind of lasting conflict with their neighbors.  I was just beginning to puzzle over the elements I had already given myself, when this dream offered some interesting solutions to some of the problems. 

    In the dream there was a kingdom, ruled by a Queen (who in the dream was my housemate M) that was plagued by demons.  I was some sort of sorceress who was trying to help the Queen save her country.  In an episode near the beginning of the dream I received a magical crystal sword which I gave to the Queen’s champion, who was my brother.
So far our battle against the demons had not been going well as our weapons were fairly useless against them. Our only reprieve was that they had not figured out how to stay in this world for any length of time.  The Queen’s champion went to fight the demons with his new sword and I, as the royal sorceress set up a sort of monitoring spell to help him.  The new sword was very effective, but, while they were fighting, the demons were pulled back to their own dimension and the champion was pulled too.
     However, somehow my spell on him remained intact and I went running off to find my sister, N.  She was also a sorceress and we began preparing a spell to summon our brother back from the demon’s realm, while at the same time helping to prepare an evacuation for the entire castle, which apparently was about to fall off a cliff because the demons had weakened the foundation.  Our spell was successful (which was surprising, seeing as how cause and effect can be very warped in dreams,) and having rescued our brother, we turned our attention to the evacuation.
    At this point the dream sort of degenerated into a common trope for my dreams: organizing things.  Most of the people were out of the castle (or house as it had become), but I had a vague sense that we would be heading out on the road in a quest like manner, rather than meeting up with the other evacuees. I determined we would need to take camping type gear. I was in the kitchen of the house and I was getting a little hung up on making sure we had silverware, a cutting board and knife, napkins, dishtowels and soap and an oven rack to prop over a fire for an open flame cooking rack. I was a little frustrated at our lack of useful rations – but when I grabbed the peanut butter I remembered the Emergency Kit I had made up for winter (a real project and I dreamt of the exact plastic crate I used).  My epic dreams often have an episode like this – everybody else will be discussing how to sneak out of the city, or retrieve the magical artifact and I am off making sandwiches.  :)

    But back to the point: I felt there were the bones of an interesting story with the demons, the magic sword and the different realms.  I was also intrigued by the sibling element, as I have not written about siblings for a while.  But besides the elements of one story, I found that idea of a people plagued by demons gave some interesting answers to a nomadic, warlike people who nonetheless were not fighting their neighbors.  The idea that I am exploring now is that in the distant past their ancestors started summoning demons to do their bidding, but at some point the demons figured out how to cross into the human world on their own, though they could never stay for long.  They are attracted to the blood of the sorcerers who first summoned them and so the people keep moving to prevent the demons from getting a “fix” on their location.  Obviously, the idea needs a lot more thought and fleshing out, but at the moment I am enjoying trying it on – and enjoying that my dream gave me some solutions to this next phase of writing.

1 comment:

  1. Very epic. My dreams don't fit into the narrative style nearly as nicely!