If I could only remember

Olive with her cat grass.

I’ve been struggling with the NaNo Prep 101 assignments. I can’t quite find my idea or nail down the characters for the writing challenge I signed up for in November where I’m going to write 50,000 words of a novel in 31 days. I’m weeks away and just not thrilled with anything I’ve come up with.

Here’s a description of the first assignment:

Some people struggle to come up with a novel idea that excites them! Some people are idea machines, but have a hard time committing to one. Tackle this week’s exercise to focus on finding inspiration… and then hone in on a few ideas that spark your creative passion.


Last week I completed the first assignment. I had some inspiration with my characters but struggled through the next week’s tasks:

Week 2: Create Complex, Believable Characters
(Strong enough to shoulder a novel and hold your interest)
Week 2 Exercise: Character Development and Questionnaires
Characters are the active drivers of your story, and a huge part of a first draft is getting to know the characters you’re creating. Get a head start with this exercise!

Last night I had a vivid dream where it was all laid out. I had five characters. I was filling out their backstories, their ages, appearances, mannerisms, pet peeves, desires. It was all coming together. I made progress on the plot and was so excited to write. I was sitting at my laptop, editing, making changes, completing the exercises.

Morning came. Olive the cat jumped on the bed and woke me up. I struggled in my morning pages trying to remember my characters. They floated away out of my mind’s reach. I wonder if they were any good? Or was it my mind working through the process?

Have you ever problem solved or figured out a creative solution in your dreams? Do you usually remember your dreams or not?

11 thoughts on “If I could only remember

  1. I’m brilliant in my dreams. Or at least that is the feeling that lingers after I forget all that happened in my dreams. 😉
    Seriously, though, somewhere between dreamland and reality is a moment where I can remember my dreams clearly. I am even aware that I had better write them down if I hope to remember them. But only a few times have I been able to do it. Usually, by the time I am able to physically move, my dreams are fading too fast. I, like you, wonder if I really am brilliant in my dreams or if I just think so because, well, they’re my dreams and I don’t have to let anyone in who would say differently. 😀

  2. Okay, I have to give credit to Olive for being very photogenic! Could you base your characters on people you know that evoke strong emotion as a starting point? 50,000 words is definitely a challenging task – I’m looking forward to reading about the process! Hope the characters pop up in more detail in your next dream :)!

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