More Thoughts from a Random (and Sleeping) Mind
By Andrew E. Kaufman: Author of Psychological Thrillers
Ok, time for another confession.
I write in my sleep.
Well, not all the time, and not all of it amounts to much, but sometimes I do, and sometimes it does. For those who know me, this should really come as no surprise. It’s kind of how I roll. Random? Definitely. Stream of thought? Without question. Chaotic? God, yes.
Yep, I’m all of that, but since I’m also an intuitive writer, I rely a lot on my subconscious mind to tell my stories. Some call this their Muse, or their inspiration, or their alter ego or...whatever. I call him Bob (don’t even ask, because I have no explanation).
But the truth is, the subconscious mind really is our “better half”, so to speak. It’s the place where we don’t over think or judge, where no idea is too outlandish, and where anything goes. In short, the lizard brain throws it out there, then the logical mind reels it in.
My first novel, While the Savage Sleeps, came to me as a dream, and while some might call that a nightmare, I woke up knowing I’d nailed it. The images, the mood, the tone--all of it-- seemed so clear that I hopped right out of bed the next morning and couldn’t wait to put my fingers to the keyboard. From that point on, the words seemed to pour seamlessly from my brain to the screen. In fact, more than any of my books, people most often comment that reading it was like watching a movie in their heads, and maybe that’s because the dream felt like one. Oddly enough, there was background music and rolling credits at the end (again, don’t ask).
Trust me when I say, it’s not the first time something like this has happened. From what I understand, apparently, I talk a lot in my sleep, and that makes sense, because I’ve had some rather lively discussions during dreams. For example, Patrick once read me the riot act inside a grocery store (he was very unhappy about the way I was portraying him), and I caught Tristan trying to hot wire my car (she’s a career criminal).
Of course, I don’t always go with what my dreams tell me (I guess that’s where the logical mind comes in). Originally, Tristan lived in a treehouse, and that was just plain crazy. And there was that S&M dungeon in the Clark Compound basement (where my editor gently said, “um...no.”).
As is often the case, I don’t always remember my dreams, but I’m pretty sure my writing is a reflection of them, because some of the best ideas always seem to come in the morning, and maybe that's why.
The point of all this (besides that there’s some crazy-assed stuff going on inside my head)? Hell, I don’t know. That the subconscious mind is a terrible thing to waste?
How about you? Do you dream in color?
I have wild, crazy, colorful dreams...that often reflect some element of what's on my mind. For example, last night I was staring in a movie and acting in an underwater scene. But none of it has ever been useful in a novel. I'm jealous of people who come up with story ideas while asleep. I usually have to sweat mine out with cardio.ReplyDelete
Many of my dreams are filled with throwaway materials. The challenging part is sifting through for meaningful bits.Delete
Last night, some gi-normous blue and white sea-type birds were having fun sliding around on the windows of a boat I was on. And I made Whoopi Goldberg laugh. I'm pretty sure I laughed out loud when that happened.ReplyDelete
My dreams are usually a little to nutzoid to turn into a book, but I often have early-morning-not-awake-yet revelations that are useful.
I'm jealous of your Whoopi dream. I did recently have one about Madonna. She was holding a press conference in my living room. We'll have to compare celeb dreams sometime.Delete
My husband is tired of hearing me say, "I had the weirdest dream last night." He says, "Every dream you have is your weirdest. Sooner or later one of them has to take the prize."ReplyDelete
My favorite are the ones that enlighten me and make sense of what I'm feeling about what's happening in my life. I could tell you stories...
I feel you there, Gayle. I get the same reaction. All I really need to say is, "I had a dream last night," and it's pretty much understood.Delete
John Lennon: "I'm Only Sleeping." Marcel Proust. And, oh my, Hamlet: "To sleep, to dream..."ReplyDelete
The thing is, "life's a dream" and I'm always awake in it. Some people sleepwalk. I awake-walk.
George says hi to Bob.
I awake walk through life myself...well, with Bob, of course.Delete
I wish I remembered my dreams more! Snippets come back when I first wake up, but that's it. But I do get some of my best ideas in that half-asleep state just as I'm falling asleep or waking up. And also in the shower and on walks.ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you remember yours and get to use them in your great books, Drew! :-)
Me, too. My more peculiar (and scary) dreams tend to occur just as I'm falling asleep. Those are the ones that jolt me back awake.Delete
I'm a big time day dreamer. One of my favorite things to do is drive along an open road while listening to some music and rolling a story around in my head. As for dreams while sleeping, I wake up frequently with "ah-ha!" moments and, much to my wife's chagrin, have written as many as ten pages of notes from material that came to me subconsciously.ReplyDelete
I do love those ah-ha moments. They are golden.