So, you know the elation you feel when you first wake up with that golden nugget sparkling inside your brain. Maybe you grab for the notebook and jot the whole thing down, bleary-eyed.
This happens to me, like a lot. And then the next part happens:
I wake up properly, and as the threads of story leave my brain and I try to decipher my scribbles, I find gaping holes in the story logic that my sleeping brain found perfectly acceptable. Or things that seemed really cool but are in fact ridiculous. Here's an example from last night's dream:
I'm a nurse at an unauthorized research facility that has snatched young girls, harvested their eggs and is performing experiments with embryos. At some point, the facility is found out and the administrators run so fast they leave the girls behind, chained to their hospital beds. As a few of us nurses free the girls before running off ourselves, I stop at one girl's bed, a 12 year old, and as I unlock her, I covertly slip her the fruits of two of her eggs -- two embryos held in stasis. One is a control, which if implanted would mature into a normal baby, and one altered embryo. No one knows exactly what it will become.source cnn.com
Kind of a cool premise for a story about the girl, perhaps a few years in the future when she considers implanting the embryo(s?). But what I, the nurse, slipped the girl was, in fact, two BLUEBERRIES.
Blueberries, yes. The embryos were stored inside blueberries. Are you done laughing yet? It seemed perfectly reasonable in the dream.
I like the overall idea, but the feasibility of handing a girl some transportable embryos is a roadblock that will probably make me abandon the story. And here's the thing: My whole idea-making factory (my brain) is suspect, since I must have thought the blueberries were just as cool as the rest of the show. My whole dream -- or any waking idea for that matter -- is suspect.
So I have a two-part question:
How do you go about vetting your ideas for stories, deciding which are workable,
how do you move them from mere ideas to fleshed out stories?
Big questions, I know. But I'm going to join some old conference buddies this month in a little writing boot camp, and I need to turn some cool ideas into short stories, so I could use some fresh tips.
Feel free to provide examples of weird dreams that became kickin' stories. :)