Creatives have long held that some of their best ideas come to them in dreams.
After all, one of my favourite short film ideas (I’m also a scriptwriter) came to me in a fevered dream, although it has yet to be filmed. Perhaps because it was so wacky? (Read on till the end when I’ll tell you what my crazy idea was!) 🙂
So, the other week, out of nowhere I had a dream about my 4th DC Dominic Strider crime novel. Yes, the one I’m halfway through writing. The one based in the historic surroundings of Chester Cathedral. The one with the evil opera singer. Called ‘Till The Fat Lady Sings’.
The plot already centres on antiques fraud. Strider investigates the suspicious death (later confirmed as murder) of the Cathedral Verger. This leads him to discover that the Verger was part of a nationwide scam to steal antiques from every venue the opera singer performs at. Strider works with the Met Police’s Antiques Squad (yes, they actually have one) to follow the singer down to Covent Garden for the final confrontation.
So with that buried in my subconscious, and the thought already rattling around my head that the plot needed a little extra ‘something’ to spice things up, I had this dream….
Strider hears that the fraudsters want to find and steal the most amazing treasure from the Cathedral – the mythical Cheshire Cross of Christ. Legend has it the Cross is hidden somewhere within the Cathedral’s ancient walls, but no-one has ever been able to find it. The crooks start following the clues – like a treasure hunt – to unearth this priceless jewel-encrusted gold effigy.
Playing them at their own game, Strider follows the clues himself, outsmarts the villains, and manages to (eventually) uncover this hidden treasure. It was such a terrific idea (even if I say so myself) that I immediately awoke, leapt out of bed – OK, crawled out of the bed – and grabbed a notepad to scribble it down.
The idea will now be incorporated slowly and surely into the second half of the novel, and I’m presently working out the best way to do that. But what a terrific way to jazz up an already-exciting crime novel.
I just hope my subconscious mind will now rustle up some more tremendous plots while I’m asleep – and maybe even help me find a literary agent into the bargain.
All I need is a name, beamed into my brain. Just one name of an agent who’ll get my books and love the concept of DC Strider. Not that I’ll tell him where I get my ideas from, of course….. 🙂
NB My fever dream many years ago, which ended up as an (as yet unfilmed) short film script saw four middle-aged friends reuniting in a country pub after several years. After a lot of laddish banter and much catching up with each others’ lives, one reveals he has terminal cancer.
He then asks the other three to help him with his dying wish: to shock people in the most outrageous way possible. It ends with him hand-gliding over the countryside stark naked – to the open-mouthed surprise of the locals!
It was meant to be heartwarming and life-affirming, as well as very fumy. I pictured Ian McShane (Lovejoy himself!) as the dying man. Sadly, to date, it’s never been made for the screen. The crowd-funding campaign to get this made starts here!! 😀