NaNoWriMo is a week away, and today, with a little help from a friend, I came up with a great idea for an experiment.
You see, I had this really epic dream last night. I have really vivid dreams all the time, and my dreams are usually either “oh, what a beautiful, beautiful life” dreams, or what I call the epic story dream. Both are quite wonderful. The beautiful life ones make me feel really good when I wake up; the epic story ones are thrilling, like a great novel that I just happen to be in.
So in this epic story dream of mine, the setting for the last scene was a really vivid one, vivid and wonderfully strange. And when I woke up, my first thought was, that’s the kind of setting I want to use in my writing.
When I write, it’s usually from a movie in my head. I get characters, dialogue and action, and I try to capture it all in words. But the setting is usually never more than a faint blur, which probably explains why my first drafts are short on description.
So I want access to the stuff that comes to me in my dreams. After a few email exchanges with a friend of mine, who has written fiction in this way herself, I’ve decided to experiment with one of my NaNoWriMo projects (I’m going to work on two this year, in keeping with my new multi-focused approach).
I’m already a “discovery writer”, in that I don’t plot and prefer instead to write by the seat of my pants, discovering the story myself as I write. Having said that, I usually know in what general direction I’m writing; I just don’t know the details of the journey there, and of course, the direction itself is flexible and changes as the details emerge.
My WIP ELEMENTAL is a quest tale, and I have a vague idea what the quest is. So I’ll continue writing that one out with that general direction in mind.
But I’m going to play around with my other WIP, experiment with different “meditative states” while I’m writing it. Kind of like lucid dreaming while awake. I’m not going to write this one chronologically, either; I’ll get down the scenes as they (hopefully) come to me, and afterwards I’ll figure out what the sequence is. I already know what one of the scenes will be: the one I dreamt about last night.
So it’s going to be a complete experiment, from beginning to end. I’ll do this one both on the computer and in longhand. I’ll go wherever it takes me, however it goes, and then at the end of 30 days, I’ll see what I have.
It sounds like great fun to me!
Have any of you ever written like this? Investigating other states of being while writing? I’d love to hear about your experiences!