Thursday’s Children: 04.11.2013

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Did I ever tell you I get my novel ideas from dreams?

No joke.

I have yet to start a project that hasn’t arisen directly from a dream. Like a real, nighttime, sleeping dream. I dreamed of Lord Caden and that’s why I wrote SHADOW. I also dreamed really dark scene that eventually evolved into the genderqueer romance/thriller that is SOME KIND OF QUEER. And a couple weeks ago, I dreamed up a new world, new character (named Elinux!) that I’m going to turn into another novel. Eventually.

So. On a different subject. I’ve been thinking about something lately and analyzing an idea that is a crux of SHADOW’s sequel. Then I drove past a billboard for the Marines and it really, really, hit me. The way we exalt and recruit for the military belongs in a dystopian novel. Think about it.

Commericials, billboards, web ads; there’s no getting away from it, and it’s made out to be so positve. No one talks about what really happens in a war zone, or what being part of the military really means. Kids are recruited through college funding and promises of heroism. But’s not like that. Think about the word “military.” Just, seriously, think about it.

Hey, before you get all judgy, I come from a military family. My dad is a Vietnam vet and my brother just got back from Afghanistan okay? They’re not haters, either. I just want everyone to take a step back from national pride and realize how sick American society would make you if it wasn’t “American society.” Like, if it was just a nameless society using every form of propaganda available to recruit the best and brightest youth into a contract of eight years (yes, eight) service in which they would be stripped of individuality, programmed to follow orders, and trained to kill.

Also, the apathy in this country is a nightmare. No one cares. It freaks me out. But I think many people don’t care because they don’t see it. It’s so “normal” it has become part of the background noise.

It’s like the beginning of the Hunger Games movie when they play the video intro about the war and Panem’s history, and Effie’s all “I just love that!” Yeah. *shudder*

I’m not going to go on a longer rant about this, because, well, because I’m writing a novel about it so there’s no need. But it scares me.

Now. Back to the dream thing. I had a dream last night that I was running for political office, and I was trying to make people understand what I’m trying to make you understand. It wasn’t working well, but it was so important.  I woke up in a cold sweat. Sometimes I think my dreams are smacking me in the face with something to which I need to pay close attention. I was already writing a novel about it, but I was a bit overwhelmed by the ambitiousness of the concept (there’s a lot that goes on in this novel). Now I’m not doubting. Now I know I have to write it.

*sigh* Have at it. #controversialblogpost

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12 comments

  1. That’s so funny because I get ALL my novel ideas from dreams, too! For example, I dreamed that I designed a room and that I was sitting next to a boy in a basement and we were talking about how we were die…you know which novel this is 😉

    I think your observations on the military would make for a GREAT dystopian. You should right it ASAP and let me read 😀

  2. When I was in college I dated some guys from the US Naval Academy. We’d talk about majors and they’d be all excited about “communications” or “international relations” or something and I’d be like “yeah, but ultimately you’re there to learn how to kill people.” Sometimes it really seemed like they’d never thought about it that way, ever. Ultimately I ended up changing colleges and marrying an art major…

  3. Many of my ideas come from dreams too. My latest WIP came from one. And I love it when dreams are so powerful, we can’t NOT write about them. I think all military groups are like that, otherwise who would join? Starship Troopers indeed. I love that movie btw; it’s so cheesy. Write your dream so we can read it! 🙂

  4. I love this post because you’re so honest, it’s refreshing! You’re right about the power of propaganda. It can really get to us, reach our hearts, change who we are at our very core without us even realizing it. I think a lot about what happened in Germany with the Holocaust and I admire those Germans who, instead of getting caught up in the mindless nationalistic fervor, used their MINDS to reason that what was happening was WRONG. They risked their own lives to help Jews and others who were being targeted by Nazi’s. During wartime, it seems that there is always a small group of people who are able to see things clearly and NOT get caught up in the fervor- I think books like the one you’re working on (and even The Hunger Games) help us to remember the importance of using our minds and not blindly following an ideal just because “everyone else” around us does. So, this is a really good idea and I hope the MS turns out great! Thanks for the interesting post- I really enjoyed reading what you had to say : )

  5. I think writer’s minds are always working, even when we’re sleeping. I’ve gotten some ideas from my dreams too.
    I guess I never really thought about the military recruiting like that. Although, maybe they aren’t like that everywhere? You’re just lucky, I guess.

  6. I love controversy! The military (now you got me thinking about the word) are a necessary evil. The conflict and contradictions are why it’s been a great topic for many films and books. So cool that you get your ideas from dreams. Great post.

  7. My dreams rarely lend themselves to stories – far too much crazy going on in there. And I understand how you feel about the military recruiting. I absolutely hate it when they go to the high schools 😦

  8. You are 100% right about the military. It also attracts poor kids, kids who didn’t perform well academically, and kids who don’t have a lot of other choices.

    I also get my novel ideas from dreams. Because The Night was born of a dream I believed so strongly in I actually moved to Vegas to pursue it.

    Kristen

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