How many creative ideas have been borne from dreams? To name a few noteworthy, there was Paul McCartney dreaming up the song "Yesterday", Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and R.L. Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But what about other forms of paradoxical sleep; when you start vividly dreaming about your ideas and become transported into a place where you are actually interacting with the characters of your imagination? This is probably not the first time that this has happened to me, but as allusive as this physiological state tends to be, often is the case that I never make it far enough into REM sleep to remember my dreams the next morning. Sometimes it feels like I am grabbing at something I see slightly off in my peripheral, but when I turn my head fully observe it, it is lost.
For the last couple days I have been working on this short story with some rather disturbing undertones, not to the point of being shamelessly obtrusive to the reader, but with just enough darkness to stir. The Portland Writers group I've been submitting to for the past few weeks, have been giving me feedback on my novel-length manuscript, and the consensus among them seems to be that my main character dances too much around reality; where everything seems to be described as though she is looking at the world through rose-colored lenses. "Not enough conflict," to be believable I was told, and thereupon doing the rereads, it would be a lie to say I didn't agree with them. They want real? I can be real.
My aim with writing more short stories will be mostly for the practice and experimentation-- to figure out what sorts of themes and symbolism pump the blood a little harder, trigger specific emotions, and ultimately get the reader to immerse themselves in another world I've created. Basically, I want to write in the cracks in the facades of people, and as I do this, I already feel my dreams changing. Two nights ago my dreams were filled with the unrecognizable, the unfamiliar, and though terrifying while asleep, there is more of a sense of export when I awake; an otherworldliness, as if I have stepped out of my own psyche and into someone else's. This is neat and scary, and I am eager to explore more.