Reject Stories from the Idea Mine

I’ve blogged many times about the stories that come to me in dreams. I don’t know why, but dreams are the biggest source of creativity for me, often spawning stories in their entirety. I can develop and refine them in the waking hours, but the raw ideas all come from the same place.

Of course, not every idea I dream is fit for publication. Some are bizarre ideas that shouldn’t be entertained at all. Here are a few dreams I’ve had that I won’t be turning into books.

1. A fantasy adventure that led to an immense and ancient city that was located inside the fourth stomach of a giant celestial cow deity.

2. A genetically-engineered virus infected the skeletons of dinosaurs in the museum, bringing them to life and causing them to rampage through the city. The virus could spread to humans, turning them into zombie servants of the skeletal dinosaurs.

3. After an alien carrier lands on Earth, we fear takeover, but they’re really just using us as an off-world prison for all sorts of bizarre alien criminals. We’re left to fight the alien invaders on our own, but their intelligence and technology is superior to ours, meaning they end up taking us over anyway. Humankind divides into two groups: those who are willing to cooperate with the wishes of the aliens and live in mostly peaceful colonies, and Hunters, seeking to take the aliens down.  This idea is one I actually thought had some merit and could be refined into something worthwhile, but it’s not a genre I’m particularly interested in writing, so I won’t.

4. A middle-grade fantasy book about a boy who could shapeshift, but only into a duck.

5. A tower made entirely of stained glass, with a witch at the top who would would grant one wish as long as you brought her the marble hidden on each of the 99 lower floors.

6. A newlywed trip to a fraternity house-turned-resort, with plenty of jokes and new friendships forming, only to slowly realize that everyone in the house–except the narrator–is dead, and the narrator is the only one who can see the lingering spirits, doomed to repeat the weeks leading up to their gruesome murders over and over again for eternity.

So they aren’t all bad, just some of them. And some just didn’t give me enough to work with to make a coherent story. Fortunately, the rest of my dream-inspired stories are much more fleshed out… and less silly.

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