Posted by: Paul | November 6, 2010


If only you could record dreams in some sort of visual way.

I woke up from the most vivid dream I’ve had in a long time this morning. It was so clear and detailed I felt like I was watching a movie, and it was one of those dreams where, once you wake, you instantly try to return to sleep so you can continue it and find out what happens. Most dreams I have are a surreal non-narrative sequence that makes little sense once you wake up, but this one was different. I even knew it was a dream while I was experiencing it – like I say, it was very like watching a movie.

I’ve never felt the need to do this before, but when sleep would not return the second time, I got up and found some paper and immediately started scribbling it down before it faded. A page and a half of tight script later I have about 400-500 words of what reads like the synopsis for a screenplay – but sadly without an end! It might be fun to try and expand on it and see if the idea goes anywhere interesting. I was reminded of what JK Rowling said about how the idea for Harry Potter came to her – she said that he ‘simply wandered into (my) head, fully formed’. This was very similar – I could see the entire world the story was set in, and the details of what I could see inferred how the world operated. It was instinctive, characters didn’t have to explain what was going on, I could look at a door and know what was behind it or a person and know their history. If only I could convey that in writing, I’d have a novel!

I don’t really want to mention too many specifics, as I’ve no idea how I’m going to proceed with it yet, but it was set around a sprawling castle/palace which takes a lifetime to learn the layout of. It was a bit like a cross between Hogwarts, Gormenghast and some of the ideas behind The Handmaid’s tale – it had some similarities to Harry Potter (hence the JK Rowling reference), but was far more sombre and serious in tone.

Who knows, maybe it will stay as a dream. Maybe it will be a recurring one – that would be great if it came true, as it cut off on an absolute cliffhanger, and it’s now up to me to decide what happens next, and I’ve currently no idea how to proceed! Or maybe I’m just reading too many novels and watching too many movies. In any case, I’m very glad I wrote it down, as you have to grab inspiration by the scruff of the neck when it arrives!


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