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  • Writer's pictureSarah Tidball

When Dreams Inspire: Unveiling the Mysterious Origins of My Storylines

As an author, one of the questions I frequently get asked is:

"Where do you get your ideas from?"

The truth is, I consider myself fortunate because my inspiration often springs from an unexpected source: my dreams. Yes, you read that right! I am one of those peculiar individuals who can vividly recall dreams, complete with names, actions, and even the sentiments behind them. In this blog post, I'll share how my dreams have become the fertile ground from which my stories bloom, leading to unexpected adventures and characters you can fall in love with.

The Dream that Birthed The Helyan Series:

Sometimes, my dreams offer me a complete story package, ready to be unravelled into a captivating narrative. Take, for instance, the dream that sparked The Helyan Series. In this dream, I encountered two characters—Jared, a smart, by-the-book, and uptight ship's captain, and Shae, an emotional, feisty, kick-ass individual. With these basic character concepts from my dream, a tale of epic proportions began to take shape in my mind. Their contrasting personalities became the driving force behind their interactions and the foundation of an extraordinary journey.

Borrowing from Dreams for Adaptation:

However, not all my dreams directly relate to the characters in my books, but they often provide intriguing "set pieces" that can be adapted and woven into the storyline. An example of this can be found at the beginning of my book, Fallen Star. The gripping creature-filled sequence that hooks readers from the start actually originated from a dream. All I had to do was transplant the people from my dream into the roles of Shae and Jared, and the tense action sequences came alive on the pages. It's like the dream world offered me a fantastic template, and all I had to do was tailor it to fit the characters I had already crafted.

Capturing Inspiration Before It Fades:

To ensure these snippets of inspirations don't slip away into the abyss of forgotten dreams, I've adopted a simple, old-school habit. Now, I keep a trusty pen and paper by my bedside. As soon as I wake from a particularly vivid dream, I jot down the intricate details before they have a chance to fade away. This notepad has become a treasure trove of potential storylines, providing me with a wellspring of ideas whenever I seek fresh inspiration.

The creative process is a mystical and weird animal, and dreams have become an unexpected ally in my writing adventures. Whether they gift me with fully-formed characters or intriguing scenes, my dreams have proved to be a source of inspiration for my storylines.

So, the next time someone asks me where my ideas come from, I can honestly respond, "I literally dreamt them up!" As long as I keep my trusty pen and paper at arm's reach, my dreams will continue to shape and enliven the worlds I create, leaving readers enthralled by the unexpected and the fantastical.

Dreams can be a gateway to imagination, so why not explore the mysteries of your own dreams? Who knows what epic tales await you within the realm of your slumbering mind!

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