For some reason I’ve been having a lot of nightmares lately. You know, the kind where when you wake up you don’t know what’s real and what’s not. Like that poor guy in the television show Awake. There’s a car accident and his wife dies and his son lives, but when he goes to sleep and wakes up, his wife is alive and his son is dead. I wonder if this is how Stephen King comes up with some of his ideas, through his nightmares?
I remember interviewing Sharon Sala years ago and she told me that when she gets stuck on a plot line and can’t figure out what to do, she goes to sleep. When she wakes up, she has the answer. I wonder how many writers out there solve their plot problems that way?
I’ve had authors tell me they get their best ideas in the shower, while driving a car, going for a walk, listening to music and swimming. It seems like sometimes the mind needs to be needlessly engaged for something creative to leak out.
So, authors, tell me, are there any tricks you use when you’re stuck? Readers, what helps you solve a seemingly unsolvable problem? What’s worked in the past?
Bottom Line: Maybe a warm glass of milk before bed will stop my nightmares…or a shot of booze.