Last night I woke up around 1:30 in the morning. In my dream I was flying in a plane. It was a huge plane, large enough that one could stand inside the hollow wings. The plane was made of thin sheets of foam, layered and layered on each other, with carbon fiber reinforcement. As it was flying I could hear the wing creak as it flexed, I could see the light coming though the foam, I could hear the electric motors humming. It was all very cool.
When I woke, it came to me what I was doing in the plane, and why. It was a story idea, a good one. a nice Heinleinesque beginning with a made-up close call to get the reader in the action, and then a quasi informative, quasi love-story unfolds afterwards.
So I sat there, with all of this running through my head, and I groaned. I couldn’t let this pass. It was too good. I knew it. So I got up, and stumbled into the office. turned on the new computer, and starting typing. About an hour later I had churned out a bit over 1000 words, and had written most of the opening scene. So I got up, and climbed back into bed.
The only problem was how I had ended the scene. After I had laid out everything I had gone over in my head (while laying in bed wondering if it was worth it to get up) I had added a throw away line about how the main character almost died later that week. My mind was thinking WTF, but it was very late, and I’ve learned not to question my subconscious. So I banged it out, and went to bed.
The thing is, as I was trying to go back to sleep, that line kept bugging me. What was it he did that almost killed him? Before I knew it, the rest of the story clicked in place. This happens often to me on short stories. I’ll start to write the story, and once I get into it long enough to nail the tone, then the rest of the story sort of falls into place.
So now I was sitting there knowing what else is going to happen, and wondering if I will forget it if I don’t write it down. After a long while I got back up, stumbled back into the office, and starting fleshing out the rest of the story. An hour later, I finally ran out of steam.
So its back to bed. Again. And wouldn’t you know it, the muse is still full of ideas. OMG, I’m thinking. It’s fricken 3:30 in the morning, and you still want me to write? Well this time I decided to try to memorize the important parts and then drop off to sleep. It took me forever, but finally I did sleep, although my feet never did get warm after that second session. I kept having to rearrange the blankets to try and stop the occasional draft.
When I got up this morning, the ideas were still fresh. So after helping Trevor with some homework, and getting a light breakfast in, I wandered into the office, and fleshed out the story outline. And it all came back. Cool.
The story is called “Take Off”. Look for more comments about it here.