I’ve been writing since I was eleven years old (maybe younger), but last night was the first time I’ve ever dreamt a solution to a piece I’m stuck on. It was so good I got up at 5 AM, fetched the laptop, and wrote it all out.
I’ll share the dream, which was a telepathic, shape-shifting cockpit in a spacecraft that adjusted the layout of controls and displays to suit the pilot’s intuition. That seemed like the greatest idea ever from the time I woke up for the entire half hour or so that I was writing it out. It was only afterward that I realized it didn’t fit the novel’s tone or setting one bit. It’s not a terrible idea in general, but it doesn’t work in this story.
The good news is I spent another hour and a half hacking out a new and improved version, and I may have finally pushed through this chapter rewrite that’s been dogging me for months. If the section where the narrator sits alone on the ship’s bridge and remembers his childhood pretending to fly spaceships survives to the final version, you blog readers will know it originated with my dreams on May 30, 2012.
I’m not usually a morning writer. I write in the evenings and late at night, and save the mornings for the snooze button. I stole another hour of sleep from 7 to 8, but I still feel like a zombie.