How often do you dream at night and when you wake up you forget the dream within minutes of getting out of bed? This happens to me most days.
This morning was different. I woke up at 5.15am and lay in bed staring at the ceiling, the dream clear in my mind. I couldn’t fall back to sleep, I didn’t want to. I went over and over the dream to ensure I remembered everything.
In the dream I was taking an international flight to somewhere, I don’t know where and it’s not important. An international flight to anywhere from Australia means a long, tiring flight. Anyway, I sat in the aisle seat. An empty seat was beside me and the seat beside that was occupied by a woman. A woman about 10 years older than me.
The plane took off and the seatbelt sign went off. I, and the woman two seats from me, immediately unclasped our belts and leaned over to grab a laptop at each of our feet. We smiled at each other as we settled back in our seats and booted up the system. And then we went about our own business.
We sat quietly tapping away at the keys. Occasionally, one of us would rest our head back against the seat and stare up at the circular fans above our heads, and then that person would turn back to the laptop and type furiously.
After an hour or so of doing this, I sat back…thinking and scheming because I was stuck in my storyline. After a few minutes the other woman looked at me.
“What are you typing?” she asked. “You’ve been deep in thought ever since the plane took off.”
Shy, I didn’t want to go into details. I felt embarrassed for some reason. “Just a story.”
“I thought so,” she said. “Are you stuck?”
She smiled. “It happens to the best of us.” We stared at each other for a moment before she continued. “I write too. I’m writing a sequel right now. My editor is pushing me to get this one finished soon.”
We laughed and I relaxed a bit.
“Tell me why you’re stuck,” she said.
The woman was easy to talk to and I found myself sharing snippets of storyline with her. She asked many questions. Some of which I didn’t know the answers to until I gave my reply. I learned a lot about my story in the next 30 minutes.
“So, you see, that’s where the first two books are at, and the third book isn’t coming together at all.” I paused. “It’s frustrating.”
She gave a flash of white teeth and a chuckle. “I can see why you are frustrated and why the last book isn’t coming together.”
“You can?” I’m sure my mouth dropped open with astonishment.
“You planned each book, but not the series,” she said. “Your world wasn’t fully built when you started book one. Situations and places in book two have no resemblance to what happened in book one. You are trying to sweep together the crumbs for book 3.”
She paused to let her words sink in.
“You need to bring all three books under the same umbrella,” she continued a moment later. “If all the problems are solved in book 1, what is left for the next two books? You have three main characters, so each of their inner conflicts should be solved in the book you plan to write from each of their viewpoints.”
The conversation continued for a while longer. The woman gave me exact information on what I needed to change. And then I woke up.
The dream is so clear in my head…even now. The changes required are just as clear. Now, I ask you, was this my muse breaking through the madness and chaos in my brain to tell me where I’ve gone wrong, or was this simply a dream that just happened to give me the answers I needed to the many questions I had?
I don’t know, but I’m certainly glad I had this dream. I’m off to do some more re-planning.