One of the best and worst aspects of being creative is dreaming.
The nightmares are stupendously scary. Much worse than any movie I've ever seen or anything I've experienced in my waking life. And I don't mean the everyday anxiety kind of nightmares, either, though I have those in abundance, too. I mean the can't-wake-up, don't-know-you're-dreaming kind of nightmare that stays with you even after you've been awake (really awake!) for an hour or more. I don't usually remember the nightmares in their specifics, but I do know they almost always involve death and LOTS of blood.
For me, there are two good flipsides to the nightmares. One is the probably pretty common flying dream, but in my dream, I'm not really flying so much as leaping–over trees, over telephone lines–and in the leaping dream, it is always night and it has always just rained; strange, right?
The second thing is solving problems in my sleep. Okay, if you've never done this, then you're probably skeptical, but believe me, it happens. As a graphic artist, it's been my saving grace more times than I can count. Design problems that seem tied in impossible knots get untangled and smoothed over and I wake up with a solution to whatever the problem was.
I've read different things over the years abut keeping a notepad by your bed to keep track of some of the things that fade away shortly after waking. I tried it for a while, but generally came up with nonsense like: 'bend the chairs in metal' and 'why did the windows?' and (my favorite) 'giant rabbits.' Senseless stuff, really; no big revelations there, huh?
This past week, I started dreaming about the characters in the book I'm working on. This has never happened before. It was cool, but in a weird way, also scary, as if they aren't being written by me so much as they are being channeled. So here's my question: if I'm more or less channeling them...
Where are they coming from, exactly?