Finding inspiration in a nightmare

by Angella Jacob

February 15, 2011

A lot of people who wake up from a nightmare are afraid to fall back asleep, scared that their subconscious may dream up the same pattern of horrific images.  When this happens to me, I try to fall back asleep as soon as I can!  The faster my heart beats, the more twisted my dream, the more I want to recapture the spirit of the nightmare and really take in the details.

This natural phenomena has brought me several story ideas over the years.  Perhaps it is my wanting to have such dreams that keeps them coming back.  I have on occasion had recurring nightmares, some that scared me so badly I woke up kicking and screaming.  This, I tell myself, is the feeling I want to recreate with my writing. 

I keep a few notebooks and pens within reach of my bed, so I can scribble down a few lines, sometimes just a few words, in order to expand on the notes at a later time.  That is, when I can read back what my sleepy hand scribbled the night before.

Bizarre dreams have been common to me since I was a young child.  I still remember quite a few very odd and reccuring nightmares from my childhood.  I have these written in a journal that I have used a few times when looking for an idea for a story or plot.  Of course it is usually just a bit and a piece, not the entire story that is drawn out.  It does however help with setting a scene, birthing a character, or even summoning a vile creature that thoughts alone could not create. 

Another source of inspiration for plot or ideas is seeing an everyday item in an unusual spot, or it being out of place. Tying in something normal, with something that appears to have been disturbed from it`s natural form or location, often kick starts the weaving of a new story in my mind.  I find pleasure in linking such things together to create a surreal and horrific encounter between characters or events.

So, the next time you are reading one of my twisted stories, you need not worry that I am possibly losing grip on reality, but rather that it`s my imagination that has seeped into my conscious day and by night injects my dreams with vile bits of horror. 

Finally, late last night I posted the second short story to this site.  "Frozen Fury" is now available to read under the short stories tab above.  The next short story is already in the outlining stage.

I hope you enjoy your visits here, and keep coming back and more content is continually being added!

Until then, pleasant dreams.....

Angella Jacob