People ask me all the time where I come up with the ideas I have for my books or my films or even my songs. For the most part, I don’t know where they come from, they just happen. They just exist. I don’t force them. I don’t really try. They just exist and I am lucky enough to be there when they decide to come out.
I know that doesn’t help most you. Most of the people that ask me are hoping that I can give them some answer to find that hidden treasure chest inside their brain that unlocks all of these ideas (some would argue if they are great ideas). In reality, there is no secret place or special key, at least not that I know of. For me, they just happen.
I know for some people I know, myself included, some originally come from mundane, day to day stuff that we all go through. I’ve heard some people talk about a conversation that sparked an idea over dinner. Some have told me that their children asked a simple question about life that sparked an idea. These things happen for me as well, but there is something that happens to me more often than not that inspires me.
I sometimes have really vivid dreams that for me are completely unexplainable. One theory behind dreams is that they are just your brain cataloguing the events of the day and trying to “file” them, if you will, in the right filing cabinet. That idea always boggled my mind. The thought that something I was going through would somehow be sorted in my brain like that always tripped me out.
I always try to have a notebook next to my bed so i can write down these crazy dreams as I wake up and now that technology is what it is, I use the notepad feature on my iPhone. In both cases, my penmanship or my typing (with autocorrect) turn my dreams into weirder thoughts than they probably should be. I have to write them down because of a strange thing that happens once someone wakes up. What happens is that, the memories of your dreams begin falling out of your head at great speeds from the time you open your eyes that by the time you hit the toilet, you have completely forgotten the dream you had, but instead are left with an uneasy feeling that something strange had happened but you can’t remember what.
I noticed as well, that if I set an alarm or my daughter wakes me up, my dream from that night will be gone forever. The only way I can make it stick is if the dream itself is the thing that wakes me up. When that happens, I can generally remember my entire dream.
When I take some of these dreams or ideas and place them into fiction, they tend to not feel like fiction. I guess technically if you want to say it like this, it isn’t fiction because it has happened to you. Some of my stories will have elements of my dreams like Unsane Sam or Anxious Anxiety while others like Bacon and the upcoming Legend of Cartwayne Twain are complete dreams. Bacon is a strange thing because not only did the things that happen in the story come right out of my dream, but the memories about Malcolm’s mother were remembered during the dream. There are times when you are dreaming and recognize a place or a person and then while in the dream, think back to when you were there before or who this mysterious person is to you. It is a very strange occurrence for sure.
Bacon is a story about an orphan, who at 18, was no longer a ward of the state and had to fend for himself. Malcolm’s strange “superpower” if you will, is like a “spidey sense” in Spider-Man but in this case whenever he is in danger he becomes wrapped in raw, thick cut bacon. I don’t know why. That was how the dream went. Maybe in a Freudian way I hate my mother or am supergay. Either way, that’s what happened in the dream.
A better example of how to take your dreams and turn them into stories which include everyday, real life is Unsane Sam. That story is about a guy who is pretty much a total loser who against his better judgements, falls for this girl Plump Kate. Kate is not the greatest person in the world and uses Sam for self-esteem building and other things. That part of the story is true. That really happened to me. I exaggerated things like I do in my Creepology tales. For instance, if in reality I picked up a pencil, in the story I would pick up a gun. See how easy that is?
Now some of you that have read Unsane Sam might be saying to yourself, “what about all that secret agent shit?” and you have every right to ask that question because that is why Unsane Sam is important to this post. I wrote that outline and bulk of Unsane Sam while this was really happening with me and the faux Plump Kate. The dreams I was having during that time however are what the other chapters are. I kept having these recurring dreams that I was a secret agent for some weird organization. So every other chapter in Unsane Sam is the dreams he had each night. I don’t say that in the book and honestly I don’t know if i have ever shared that but that’s the truth. That’s how it happened.
There was a guy I used to get fucked up with when I was a kid who was really weird. He used to say that he would do as much drugs as he could in hopes of falling asleep and not waking up because in his dreams he had a lot of great friends that really cared about him and he had money and a beautiful girlfriend. When he would wake up he would cry because he hated his life so much. That guy was horribly sad and I am not condoning doing that or getting fucked up with children. Lol.
Hopefully that inspires some of you out there to write your dreams out. I just had a dream the other night that had to do with a machine birthing giant Easter eggs, my mother being caught watching Nazi VHS tapes with the cast of How I Met Your Mother and friends I had in 8th grade becoming hard-core junkies. Will that make it into a story? I have no idea, but hopefully this will help get you to try to trust your dreams and maybe get them down on paper or whatever you type on.
What inspires you to write? Please leave comments to help me out! I’m always looking for new inspirations.
Please join the Creeper Crew newsletter if you want more things like this including my True Horror Story serial. That is written in a completely different way but that will be a whole other blog post Lol.
I do also intend to do another volume of Creepology this year. The stories that I know for sure that will be included in volume 2 are Murderous Assholes, Fame Monsters, Obamacide, The Legend of Curly Bob The No-Armed Man (Who Has Arms They Just Don’t Work), A Head Full of Acid and maybe one or two others. So look for those this summer. You can get Creepology now by clicking below or you can get it at Kobo or Barnes and Noble for Nook.