Perchance to Dream


sleep-300x199When asked where you came up with the idea for a novel, have you ever replied, “It came to me in a dream”?

 Rarely is it that easy to craft a great story, but occasionally a dream can provide the germ of a winning plot. Apparently Stephenie Meyer came up with the basis for the Twilight series in her sleep. In the sphere of music, Paul McCartney says he woke up one morning with the tune for “Yesterday” playing in his head.

I remember my dreams almost every night. Usually they are bizarre or mundane, occasionally disturbing, but sometimes I’ll wake up from a particularly in-depth dream convinced that it would make a fantastic plot for a novel (or even a movie!). I rush to write down everything I remember. Usually, once I look at it on paper, I see something disappointingly bland and unoriginal.

Sometimes, however, just a single character or scene is all you need to spark a broader idea that you can build on during your waking hours. A few years ago I had a rather vivid dream involving myself and Orlando Bloom getting acquainted in a backyard swimming pool …

What was I saying? I got a little distracted for a second. Oh yeah—there was much more to that dream (talking, eating, drinking wine poolside as I recall), but the rest of it didn’t hang together as a very interesting plot. I never forgot it, though, and eventually I built a saucy little pool scene into Wine & Roses.

If you’ve ever dreamed up an idea and used it successfully in a story, leave a comment below and tell us about it.





About susanrhughes

Susan R. Hughes is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and historical romance. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and three children.
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6 Responses to Perchance to Dream

  1. Kristy Tate says:

    My favorite dreams are the ones where I fly. My husband claims to have never flown in his dreams, he’s always being chased by someone…or something. They say that often our worst fears are manifested in our dreams, and if that’s true, I think it’s so we can know that the “worst” is survivable.


  2. leighmorgan1 says:

    I dream a lot…my favorite time is that sweet spot in quasi-sleep where I’m just waking up from an interesting dream. Unfortunately once I’m fully aware the feeling is still there but the particulars are a bit fuzzy. I like falling asleep with a plot or character question in mind…sometimes the issue resolves itself in the morning whether I remember my dreams or not. Can’t wait to read “that” scene in Wine & Roses… 🙂


  3. bellastreet says:

    Orlando! 🙂 Great post!


  4. stephaniequeen says:

    I dreamed up the opening scene in PLAYING THE GAME. It had a feel to it that I never lost throughout the whole book. I’d remember the dream and the feeling it gave me and try to put that into the book. I think it worked because that book ended up winning the International Digital Award for best contemporary romance last year. So dreaming up ideas is good!
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring, Susan!


  5. monarisk says:

    I usually tell myself story to be able to sleep. Is it surprising I keep on dreaming and wake up with a new scene or a new plot? When I was in high school and college, I used to dream about the questions on the exams and my friends thought I was a psychic when my dreams came true with exact questions on the exam!


  6. Joan Reeves says:

    Dreams are endlessly fascinating. Usually when I’m immersed in writing a book, I dream about the story and characters. I wrote one book that came to me in a dream.


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