Story from a Dream

An Essay By Anna // 7/18/2008

(Not to be read unless you’ve read Stars Over Llorleya, my book, since it does contain spoilers about the chapters posted here.)

A Stars Over Llorleya documentary of sorts, Part 1.

I get a lot of my story ideas from dreams, or at least general concepts. Especially during summertime, when I sleep longer and my brain is less exhausted. For instance, in the past two or three weeks I’ve had at least twelve dreams that appear like promising stories.
None of them are really developed. After all, they were only dreams. But promising, all the same. Some of them are fan fictions, because the dream I had would have had something to do with a movie I’d watched or a book I’d been reading. But others have been pleasantly original.
Right now, these story ideas are stored on random scrap papers, normal papers, and post-it notes. But maybe when I’ve toyed with them enough, they’ll have enough real potential to earn a computer document. Some- like Brey- do this almost immediately. Others- like a new superhero story idea- will probably take a lot more time; and even if they make it to the computer, there’s no guarantee I’ll work hard to make them a book.
One example of a story idea that has been worked hard on to make a book is Stars Over Llorleya, which started as a dream about a young woman hiding in a stone room, reading a book. When she came out of the room, she was immediately found by young men seeking her hand in marriage.
I scribbled the dream down and brainstormed some names. It was between Relia and Aria for the girl before I came up with Gilligan’s character. Gilligan was never meant to be a suitor. He was really only imagined because I was reading Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery at the time and desperately wanted a Gilbert Blythe of my very own (hence Gilligan’s name). I meant to change his name later, but Gilligan stuck, and Gilligan it remains.
Finally I named my female character Aria. Aria went from a young woman to a young girl, so I struck out the suitors. She developed from typical restless-young-girl-who-wants-something-more (Disney Princess style) to an imaginative princess who dislikes her royal training but would never give it up.
Then I discovered Rayne, the young redheaded wanderer, and her brother, Josh while playing make-believe. Boy, did they remodel my tale.
At first, I thought Rayne would discover "the book" (I didn’t know Wynd yet, so it wasn’t Wynd’s book) on her first trip to the old castle. I thought maybe the book would be able to draw things into Llorleya from other worlds- particularly fairies, whom I always planned to have, and orc-like creatures that could possibly cause the troubling things that Aria saw in her vision in the prologue. But this was all very complicated and was never anything more than a concept.
Enter Wynd.
My first non-human character.
I almost went all-out on her. She came close to being the only fairy who could transform into a breeze, and then change back. She almost had a strange necklace that was linked to Aria’s vision.
I held onto these ideas for along time. But they too became complicated and confusing. Even though Wynd was meant to be a little mysterious, I didn’t want her to puzzle me, her creator. So I ditched those ideas after a bit of a struggle, though Wynd still has her secrets.
Well, eventually Aria made her way to Wynd’s castle and got ahold of the book. At this point I still had almost no idea how the prologue fit in. Of course at this point Aria had the star-circle, and I knew that was linked to even more than just Aria’s visions. But I still had no real point to the prologue. It had started Stars Over Llorleya, but did it still fit in?
Well, I worked out that problem, and around this time I joined apricotpie. And by the way, I love you guys. Thanks for all the encouragement. :) Anyway, sometimes after that I changed the title for the makeshift label (this was never its title on apricotpie) Story from a Dream (which is also the title of this post) to The Stargazer- which didn’t really have anything to do with the story either, but had a nice ring to it and almost meant something. (Later I changed the name again, to its current name. Partly because I found out a stargazer was an astronomer, not "one who stargazes", but mostly because this new title had a real connection to the book.)
Then Torlith showed his handsome, deceptive, despised face. I had my villain.
Finally SOL had more more of a plot than the secret of Aria’s mother.
I struggled with chapter six for a while. I didn’t want any of my dear characters to die. Aria of course would escape- she had to- but what of the king and queen and Becky, and most of all Rayne and Josh and Gilligan? And how could I possibly make my darling main character blind? Well, I did it. So there.
I ended up, of course, bringing my wonderful Gill back to life. I wish I could say I have never regretted it. Sometimes, however, I feel this story would be a lot less difficult without a romance, although I’m positive that, even had Gilligan stayed dead, Aria would have fallen in love with someone or other. It’s in her nature and mine.
And then the wonderful scene where Aria only barely escapes Torlith- Did I have fun with that scene or what! I feel so sorry for you poor fans. You’re stuck with my love of building suspense.
Then I got to do the mermaids and elves! Oh yes. My real love in writing has always been Fantastic creatures, mermaids especially. Probably mermaids are my favorite because The Little Mermaid was my favorite movie when I was little, and still ranks among my favorites. :) And boy are the ELVES great! I can do practically anything magical with them, since I don’t have any human boundaries! Which may be why Loth is so popular.
I then brought darling Rayne back… why? You’ll have to see.

SOL still had a long way to go, and a lot of mysteries to solve. But for coming from a dream- Wow. It amazes me how far it’s come. I never thought I’d get this many chapters.
So the moral is, stick with Stars Over Llorleya, please. This story is far from over. And far from going back to being just a dream.

Considering the book isn’t done yet, this is possibly premature. But anyway, thanks to all of you at ApricotPie for supporting me. You have earned a place in the book’s dedication!

Comments

I enjoyed reading this

I enjoyed reading this essay.
It is always cool to learn how a story developed in the mind of a brilliant writer. :)

Clare Marie | Fri, 07/18/2008

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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Ha, "brilliant writer"...

Ha, "brilliant writer"... Thanks. :) You're pretty much amazing yourself.

Anna | Fri, 07/18/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

:)

Thank you!

Clare Marie | Sat, 07/19/2008

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"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Whohoo!

Hey I love reading how people got their ideas! That's cool that you get ideas from dreams, Anna. I wish I did...but my dreams most often consist of my friends and I in strange situations...but sometimes my dad has the coolest dreams, they're just jumbled enough that they'd never make a story but are neat anyway. :0)
Isn't it cool how stories sometimes take on a life of their own? (And I think in SOL your mermaids are my personal favorites too. I've never read another story that I liked merfolk in). Don't worry...I'm most definitely going to devour every single chapter of SOL as soon as it comes along!
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Talent and persistence are secrets...those who zero in on it are the ones who succeed~Judith Mackey

Heather | Sat, 07/19/2008

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And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

My mind is so crazy... my

My mind is so crazy... my dreams are pretty much always interesting. :)

I know... I also love it when a knot in the story suddenly works itself out, and then you've got great inspiration for a section that used to be a black hole of despair. :)

Anna | Fri, 07/25/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Lol

Oh gosh...yeah. I hate it...usually my stories are "pits of despair" (if you know the movie quote I'm using there) in the middle but I have the ending and the beginning worked out. It's just that middle part...agh. Or when I have a fabulous idea but only the first two chapters. That's the one that has me tearing my hair out.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Talent and persistence are secrets...those who zero in on it are the ones who succeed~Judith Mackey

Heather | Mon, 07/28/2008

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And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Of course I know that movie,

Of course I know that movie, The Princess Bride is one of my alltime favorites!

Yeah, I know what you mean by "fabulous idea but only the first two chapters". :/

Anna | Tue, 07/29/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

:0) Who's your favorite

:0) Who's your favorite character in The Princess Bride? Fezzik is mine. He's just so big and klutzy and funny...like a lot of guys I know. But I do like Inigo too, if only for his sword-fighting. My little sister Hannah does an amazing imitation of the priest.
I've got a cool idea for an urban fantasy about a girl who can call dragons to help her...unoriginally titled "Dragon Caller" at the moment...the problem is I get about to the part where she calls the dragons from their world for the first time and beyond, well...pit of despair.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Talent and persistence are secrets...those who zero in on it are the ones who succeed~Judith Mackey

Heather | Tue, 07/29/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Prolly Wesley, he's so great

Prolly Wesley, he's so great :) But I also like Inigo and Fezzik and Buttercup and Miracle Max and of course the priest. :D And Humperdinck and Rugen are great villains too
That would be cool; I'd love to read it!
Don't you hate that? I have one story (Called "The Rainbow Child", inspired by Tamerah's "Ms. Kelcey") that had an oh-so interesting idea behind it, but virtually nothing written. :(

Anna | Tue, 07/29/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Oh yeah, Miracle Max is

Oh yeah, Miracle Max is awesome. My family is big on quoting movies so we have gazillions of Princess Bride quotes flying around our house all the time! I think it's our most often quoted movie besides Hoodwinked and Emperor's New Groove. :0)
Ooh, that oughta be interesting...I loved that story Tamerah wrote. Yeah, it's like "Oh, oh, awesome story!" and then it just fizzles out. Very annoying. :0)
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Talent and persistence are secrets...those who zero in on it are the ones who succeed~Judith Mackey

Heather | Wed, 07/30/2008

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Oh, I LOVE Hoodwinked and

Oh, I LOVE Hoodwinked and Emperor's New Groove; my cuz can quote like all of ENG :D
Yeah, so did I!

Anna | Wed, 07/30/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

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