Friday, April 23, 2021

Do SFR Authors Dream of Electric Lovers? #scifi #romance

Look, it's going to sound like a cliché but yes, my character Keir from my main SFR series did come to me in a dream. But nothing like the post title. When I first 'met' him, my dream was of a beaten, hooded man sitting hunched in a deep, dark dungeon. Nothing romantic about it. When I woke up with that haunting image lingering in my mind, I immediately wanted to write his story. To find out who he was, what he was, and why he ended up in that dark place, at the darkest point of his life. Which meant I needed someone to rescue him.

That was how my debut novel began, as a short story describing that scene, but no more than that. It was years later before I finally picked up that short and decided the mystery of Keir needed resolving. 

It turned out dreaming was also a great way to solve plot issues as I continued with it. Being a pantser on my first full length novel meant often writing myself into corners because I couldn't see ahead, or because I don't write linearly either having to bridge the gap between two scenes that seemed to have no connection. Thinking about a particular issue as I drifted off led to waking with a new resolution to a problem, or new ideas for another scene. I don't know that I'd recommend it on a regular basis, though. Sometimes doing that meant I didn't sleep well.

So for six weeks I literally ate, slept and breathed my novel. I couldn't think about anything else, which rather upset my husband. I think the obsession came from a decade of not writing and the intense boredom and loss of my own identity after years being a stay at home mum. Whatever, it's a depth of absorption I have never quite replicated since.

As for electric lovers... I do have one published SFR with an android character, and others unpublished with them. But I have never dreamt about any of my other characters except Keir, even if I try to think about them as I go to sleep, to try to write their stories. I often wonder why...

But maybe my new bedspread will help me dream of some more. Is this a cover befitting a SFR author?

So I'm curious to know - do any other authors dream of their characters, either before, during or after they write them? And what about readers, do characters come to you in your dreams after you've read about them?


  1. Yes, several of my stories started with a dream, including Inherit the Stars and Draxis. The dream gave me inspiration for a character or characters and just a kernel of the world-building, and I took it from there. I had the same sort of drive to finish Inherit the Stars that you did with Keir. I think I wrote the first draft of the 110K novel in six weeks! Most of the books I've written and released lately have been more intentional than dream-inspired though, though.

    Love the bedspread. :)

  2. I have a shapeshifter book (not yet published) that came to me in a dream. After waking, I remember having to decide whether I wanted the shapeshifting ability to be due to science fiction or magic. I've also dreamed of some other plot ideas that I wrote down. When I binge watch a tv show, I also find myself dreaming about those characters.


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