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Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Noodle Dream

by Jerrica, Her Grace of Grammar


If you're a fan of the Dreamworks' animated feature film, Kung Fu Panda, then you totally know what this blog is about. If not, bear with me...

At the beginning of Kung Fu Panda, Po (a giant panda and our protagonist) lies to his father (who is actually some kind of bird, not a panda) and tells him he had "the noodle dream." Now, to his father, the bird who comes from a long line of noodle makers, this is a BIG DEAL! It means that Po is destined to make noodles and carry on the family business. Now, in reality, Po didn't dream of noodles at all, but that's beside the point and if you want to know what he really dreams of, well, use your great powers of deduction and read the title of the movie again.

Anyhoo, you're probably wondering what the heck "the noodle dream" has to do with me and why I might choose it as a blog topic. Well, I'll tell you. I, too, have the equivalent of "the noodle dream." Only in my case, it's "the plot dream."

In every manuscript, I come to a point where I have no idea what's going to happen next. Yes, I'm a pantser. I outline as I go so I don't forget what's happened in previous chapters, but rarely have I plotted ahead and been able to stick with it. So I just don't bother. But I digress...

My characters will tell me where they want to go...eventually. They don't make things easy on me. Writing to a deadline is difficult because sometimes my characters choose to hold out on me for undetermined amounts of time (a-holes!!) They might go days, or even WEEKS!, refusing to talk to me. It's frustrating, I tell you! And then all of a sudden, without fail, they show up and start talking...or, really, performing.

They start to play out the book in my head, as if I'm watching it on a movie screen. It's actually quite fun, and it gives me hope that one day maybe my books will truly be on the big screen (how awesome would that be?!?!)

But the downside of this is that they sometimes (most times!) have HORRIBLE timing! My "noodle dream" came to me last night at the end of a very long day, the night before we had to get up especially early to make an appointment AND prepare for an evening flight. Damn you, Regency whores!

Okay, I'm sorry. You're not whores. I'm just frustrated and saying hurtful things. Forgive me?

Anyhoo, now that I've gotten this off my chest, I'm going to set to work and try to recreate the delightful scenes that played in my head as I drifted off to sleep last night.

What about you? Do you have "noodle dreams"? And if you do, do they come at the worst times like mine do??


16 comments:

  1. OMG I TOTALLY relate to this. I, (like you) am a total Pantser...and wait to have my characters visit me. And they tend to not cooperate, too! ;)

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    1. What is it with these uncooperative characters?!?! Sheesh! LOL! So glad I'm not alone here!

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  2. LOL, Jerrica! I *do* have Noodle Dreams... or rather dreams about characters/plots, not really about noodles. ;) Actually, very rarely do any of my dreams star people I know in real life. Most of my dreams are little mini-movies starring actors no one else has or will ever see.

    Often a dream will inspire a book before I start on it, though. Rarely will something come to me in a dream after I've started a project. (a-holes, indeed) LOL

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    1. Those a-holes!! LOL! Yay! More noodle dreamers! Ha! I wish I got the noodle dream before a project -- I usually jump in blind and hope for the best. lol.

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  3. I don't dream about my books, thank goodness. I need a break sometimes. Although I did dream about my first hero, Drew. Solutions to plotting problems or insight into characters almost always comes to me when I'm in the shower. It's not very convenient, but at least I'm awake and can remember the solution for when I'm able to sit down and write.

    I do have recurring dreams about houses, though. There is always a hidden room I didn't know about and I end up wandering around this great house making new discoveries. It's an awesome dream.

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    1. I had a shower moment the other day, Samantha! And that's rare for me! I love your recurring house dream - that must be fun. It's kind of like the Room of Requirement from Harry Potter!

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    2. OMG, Samantha, I have the same dream CONSTANTLY! I even had one where I discovered a whole plot of unspoiled land behind my backyard, and "remembered" in my dream that that was my land, too, and that no one but me really knew it was there. It was beautiful and there were lots of bunnies and wildflowers. :-) I love those dreams! Wish I could dream up good stories and characters for books like you guys do -- but the characters in my dreams are always really weird and their plot lines disjointed (though usually epic, lol), or else they are people from my real life. (snore.) Keep on dreaming, Ladies! :-)

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    3. Ooh!!! That sounds like an awesome dream to find land. Kind of like My Secret Garden. I haven't had that yet, but I did find an underground lake off a casino I didn't know I had in my basement. LOL! Like I wouldn't hear all those people. :)

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  4. I rarely remember my dreams. :( I can't say that I've ever dreamt about one of my books, but then I can't say I haven't either. Lol. My plot ideas all come while I'm wide awake. Nice and boring.

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    1. LOL! I used to not remember my dreams, but I find that the older I get, the more vivid they're becoming. Hm. Maybe it's just that I drink a lot less alcohol than I used to. lol.

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  5. I nearly always dream about real people.

    Samantha--I have house dreams too! All the time. I'm exploring some house for some reason or other and I have such a fun time literally dreaming up all the rooms. I never heard anybody else say they had those too!

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    1. I'm so jealous of these house dreams! It sounds so fun!!

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    2. Me, three! :-)

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    3. Deb,
      I've never heard anyone say they had those dreams either and here there are 3 of us!!!

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  6. Now, I realize this is not the point of your blog, Jerrica, but I LOVE that you called your characters a-holes and whores. Bahaha! I was just complaining to Marquita this afternoon that my characters had gone off on their own plot line rather than follow the one I have planned. Those whoring a-holes! ;}

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    1. Hahaha! I just call 'em like I see 'em, Andris! LMAO!

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