Every once in a while, I have a dream that I remember when I wake up. In the last couple weeks, I’ve had a couple of those dreams.
Dreams seldom make good stories, in my opinion. They are too fragmented, too repetitive, and usually lack the logic I expect from a story. But every once in a while, one of my dreams has enough of a plot that it seems like there could be a real story in there. Of course, by the time I’ve re-written it a few times and polished all the rough edges off, the final draft has little in common with the original dream. That could be said of all my stories; the final draft has little in common with the rough draft. That’s the nature of writing.
The thing is, I write fantasy. These 2 dreams I’ve had recently have been science fiction. I like science fiction. I’ve tried to write science fiction, but my science knowledge has been out-of-date, so it hasn’t worked very well. Can I do justice to these dream stories?
I’ve been looking at those dreams, analyzing them, trying to figure that out.
The first is an ‘invasion’ story, somewhat like “War of the Worlds”, “Independence Day” and “Fallen Skies”. I knew right away that the ‘ending’ of the dream would not work. But aside from that, the pacing, action level and emotional level would need to be maintained at a point that is definitely outside my comfort zone. This would be a chance to challenge myself, right?
Dream 2 takes place in the far future, when humans are exploring other star systems and establish a relationship with another race. This seems much easier; when it’s in the far future, you can almost imagine the science as if you were setting up a system of magic for a fantasy. The basic plot of the story seems very doable, but the ending just won’t come to me. I think I woke up before I got that far.
Most of my stories come from daydreams: If I have this kind of a character, and I put him/her in this kind of situation, what happens? Occasionally, I have a dream that has potential to be a story. To have 2 of those dreams/stories in such a short time … is my subconscious trying to get me to spread my wings into the sf genre?