Sunday, September 24, 2017

Dreams and Fiction Writing

To sleep, perchance to dream, ay, there’s the rub.

Of course, that was Hamlet considering suicide. For me, “the rub” is waking up exhausted from a night of wandering through rambling homes, green hills, or rough mountainous paths, visiting with everyone from my past, both fictional and real.

During our waking hours we organize our time and thoughts around tasks we need or choose to do. But, let night come and the brain runs amuck. No more organization; no more control.

“Annie Karenina,” a novella, is an example of what one of my dreams might look like. Lady Elizabeth Killington inherits an estate in England and finds the manse occupied with fictional characters from classic literature. She is given the opportunity to help Anna Karenina redeem herself and live on.

The Reluctant Daughters is the direct result of a full length dream/story. I saw the costumes, the settings, met the women of the story and understood their relationships. I envisioned Ledger, but did wonder how this elderly black gentleman fit into the picture. No question the inciting incident for the story came about by the decision of the antagonist, the evil senator. Stereotype? Maybe, maybe not. Set in the years 1865 to 1900, I traveled through the night with these people by train and yacht, spent time in the rundown home of the wealthy Elisabeth (there’s that name again) Acket-Riis, who controlled her granddaughters with an iron fist. I even spent time in an opium den with her daughter, Mary Ellen. I awoke able to feel the texture of the fabrics of their gowns, the steam of the train engines, the fresh air on the water, and taste the steak at Delmonico’s.

Funny thing, dreams. When you let the mind go play by itself, it is amazing what it can conjure.

Happy dreams.

Veronica Helen Hart is the author of eight novels, and dozens of short stories and novellas. Her award winning work is published by Champagne Books, and her own Uppity Woman Press. She spends her waking hours compartmentalizing five or six books at a time as she writes and edits for two publishers and several private clients. And she wonders why she has such scrambled dreams!