Dream, Fiction, Inspiration, My Books, Novel, Real Life, Writing

Headache Dreams and Novel Thoughts

This winter has been one of the worst for me in terms of physical health. I seem to be a magnet for every virus floating around. These last two started with a headache that wouldn’t go away. I’ve had one for three days this time. The only good thing about it is that it makes for some good dreams … or rather, nightmares.

Night before last, I had one that could evolve into a novel, a thriller. The protagonist would be a fifteen-year-old girl. The book might even be dystopian. Not that I write YA dystopian thrillers. Or YAs. Or dystopians. Or thrillers. But I typed up notes on the scenario. Just in case.

After I woke myself from another nightmare on the first headache night, I lay there thinking about my novel The Brevity of Roses, coincidentally inspired by a dream. A particular scene popped into mind and as I thought about the dialogue in that scene, I was concerned that I’d made an error and vowed to change it in the morning. You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you?

Yep, when morning came, not only could I not remember the exact change I wanted to make. I couldn’t even remember the scene. And I still haven’t. When I’m done with formatting, I’ll read my novel again on my Kindle and I pray when I get to that scene it will all come back to me.

Speaking of Brevity, one of the things I have left to do is double-check one line spoken in Farsi. I asked for help on a language forum and the man who gave me the phonetic translation was a native Farsi speaker, but still I’d like to have a second opinion. So, on the off chance one of you speaks the language, or knows someone who does, here’s the line: Naveye azizam, be harfe delat gush kon.

Your turn: Have your dreams or nightmares inspired any stories for you?

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24 thoughts on “Headache Dreams and Novel Thoughts”

  1. You know, I really haven’t yet been inspired by a dream or nightmare to write. Not directly anw. When I think about that it’s surprising….

    It’s happened to before what you describe, and it’s always come back, normally when I’m in the throws of work. When I just sit down to edit that part it all comes back. Good luck, Linda!


    1. That’s what I’m hoping for, Jennifer. Or maybe I’ll get to the scene and find nothing was wrong with it to begin with. A line of dialogue came to me the other day that I wanted to edit, but when I looked it up, I found I’d already made that change sometime early. 😉


  2. I think I have the same virus. I’ve had the worst headache and I’ve had strange dreams all week. Two specifically I remember: My best friend throwing me off a bridge and second my dad being eaten by killer whales.(did you see that story on the news where Orcas were recorded hanging out under the Golden Gate)
    My friend told me it was from the pain meds I was taking for the headache. I had other weird dreams this week but I can’t remember those.

    I use my voice recorder. The trick is to.not.rehearse. I just dribble on and on until I’ve made sense of the idea. It helps to talk it out even if you are talking to yourself. One of my best scenes was written word for word from a voice recording I did while sitting in traffic on hwy 80.


    1. Well, you probably don’t want to expand on the one about your father, Dayner, but you could use that “friend” situation sometime. 🙂

      If I’m in position to do so, I’ll try the non-rehearsal recording. What usually happens is I’m driving and hear some dialogue and play around with it until I’m satisfied, so by the time I can stop to pull out the recorder it’s already “rehearsed.”

      Oh, and I’m sorry to hear you’ve been sick too. Get well soon.


  3. I have embarrassingly mundane dreams – going grocery shopping and such – but OF COURSE have had the experience of a brilliant middle of the night thought that was SO brilliant I couldn’t possibly forget so I didn’t need to write it down and, well, you know the rest….


    1. Natasha, do you ever try to convince yourself it probably wasn’t brilliant after all? If this wasn’t to do with my novel, I’d do that because I have written down lines of dialogue or poetry at night that I thought were fantastic, but the light of day revealed them to be mediocre … or sometimes nonsense. 😉


  4. I don’t seem to have much that’s coherent emerge from my dreams … but I am a big believer in reading my WIP before I go to sleep and seeing how the story changes when I write the next morning.

    I hope you’re feeling better soon. 🙂


    1. Sorry, Catherine, my only comment of the day and I forgot to respond.

      I’ve never tried your method, but I’ll give it a try. I’ve gone to sleep thinking of something I wanted help on, but so far my subconscious has been stingy.

      Thank you for the well wishes. 🙂


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