Recently, due to certain developments in my life, I have been subject to a few ,worse than normal ,dreams. Probably not as bad as some peoples, and maybe they wouldn’t even be categorised as nightmares, I have no idea what the criteria are for inclusion, but they’re pretty horrific and often I wake with a start and my heart is pounding. Not so unusual, I hear you say, well this is where my unique weirdness takes over. I used to suffer from nightmares when I was younger and, like bullying, I refused to succumb and quickly developed a coping strategy. Once the initial terror had subsided, I would write down what I remembered and how it made me feel; sometimes quite graphic details. As I grew and the nightmares became less frequent, I stashed my notes in a folder and forgot about them. I discovered them quite by accident one day when I was clearing out a cupboard and read through them. The recall was surprisingly vivid and they easily developed into my first few short stories. Now they have returned, albeit temporarily (I hope) due to the chaos bomb that went off in my life during the last twelve months! But, as before, I use the tools at my disposal in an attempt to not allow them to control or effect my waking life. I take notes and work on them, sometimes using the actual scenarios that have arisen, but more frequently focusing on the emotion, the sheer terror and pouring them into character. In this way I kill two birds with one stone; I effectively banish the nightmare to the fiction cave, making it a story in my mind and stripping away the remnants of residual reality that flutter like rags in the wind through my waking life and the convenient byproduct is a cornucopia of fully formed ideas and notes that will become my future horror/dark fantasy fiction projects. Hopefully these will transfer the emotion of the heartfelt horror to my readers when they are published, while exorcising them from myself. Ironically this coping mechanism means that my win win situation will only be short lived as it is intentionally putting my mind in a better place and soothing my subconscious, thus making the nightmares less frequent, necessitating the sourcing of inspiration elsewhere once this period is over. But, as my father used to say, make hay while the sun shines (or make horror while the darkness looms, in my case!).
I know this post is a bit random and a bit of a rant, but I hope you may have found it an interesting insight in to the sourcing of inspiration and my personal methods of turning darkness into light and back into darkness. See you all again soon.
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