I’m loathe to mine dreams directly, but…

My dream last night was deeply confounding. It shifted about a lot, seemed to contain all sorts of “where is my life going” anxiety, blinked around from location to location… It was random firing of my subconscious, in short, and about what you’d expect. But I seem to have dredged an idea out of it. One thing that was pretty constant throughout the dream was that I was on a train (going to San Francisco for Christmas, a thing that makes no sense on any level whatsoever). Sometimes it looked like a pretty ordinary train, sometimes it contained rooms the size of houses, and sometimes there were big, sweeping decks like you’d expect to see on a big ship. Obviously, that mutable structure isn’t really any good, though it does touch on a running motif in my dreams. A recurring situation in my subconscious is the endless building, usually a house but not always, that you can wander through forever and continuously find new rooms. It’s an idea of mine that I’ve tried to play with before. I’ve tried a room in the basement of a character’s house that was situated in a tower across the world and only accessible by dreaming, two characters who shared their allotted lifespan and whose dreams were therefore each other’s waking lives, a character who lived a complete life in her dreams which was actually playing out across the world, and, most recently (in my sadly aborted Nano) a girl who’s imaginary compatriots turn out to be entirely real… And now I’ve gone entirely off the rails. Never did quite turn this into a thing, obviously.

Back to what I actually got out of that dream there. I’m adding an aerial train line to my most established ‘verse. I’d been trying to come up with something more interesting than airships that would suit the mode of travel I needed for the core cast, and now I believe I have it. The setup would essentially require towers and lines to be laid into “rails,” along which large craft could travel at reasonable speed. I don’t need any science because the world’s mostly fantasy anyway, and this gives me the spacious, dynamic sense of a “ship” without having the same zeppelin-looking-thing that everyone’s got or trying to move my characters around by water. And now I can add little train snatches to my genre pudding! Porters and luxury cars and robberies! But with rules. Rules can make things so much better than you’d expect. And if the trains have small aircraft for defense, scouting, and repairs, then I can still use pirates if pirates need using.

Anyway, I feel accomplished. Who wants to ride my airtrain?

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~ by badandfierce on November 23, 2010.

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