5 Famous Books Inspired by Dreams
By Beverly Jenkins / Listverse
Everybody dreams, but most of the time our dreams are nothing more than the subconscious mind processing thoughts and feelings from our waking hours.
Yet, every so often a creative individual has a vivid dream which inspires them to put pen to paper and create a great work of literature.
Below are five examples of famous novels that were inspired by their author's sleeping mind.
In June of 2003, suburban Arizona mother Stephenie Meyer woke up from an intense dream in which two young lovers were lying together in a meadow, discussing why their love could never work.
On her website, Meyers says, "One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire. They were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that A) they were falling in love with each other while B) the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately."
Stephen King is one of the most prolific and popular writers of our time, so it may surprise you to learn that he came up with plot concepts and graphic images for a few of his novels while sound asleep.
In the case of Misery, King describes falling asleep on an airplane and having a dream about a fan kidnapping her favorite author and holding him hostage. When he awoke, King was so anxious to capture the story of his dream that he sat at the airport and frantically wrote the first 40-50 pages of the novel. Misery became a best-seller that inspired a successful movie and earned Kathy Bates, who played deranged fan Annie Wilkes, a Best Actress Academy Award and Golden Globe.
In 1816, Mary Shelley was just eighteen years old when she spent the summer with her lover (and future husband) Percy Shelley, at Lord Byron's estate in Switzerland. One night, as they sat around the fire, the conversation turned to the subject of reanimating human bodies using electrical currents. Shelley went to bed that night with images of corpses coming back to life swirling through her head; as she slept, she clearly saw Frankenstein's monster and imagined the circumstances under which he had been created.
Scotsman Robert Louis Stevenson was already a successful writer when he had a dream about a doctor with split personality disorder and woke up gripped by a creative frenzy. Stevenson quickly documented the scenes from his dream and then went on to write a first draft of his novel in less than three days.
As was his custom, he allowed his wife to review the draft and, using her suggestions, edited and rewrote sections of the work (allegedly fueled by copious amounts of cocaine). He finished the entire manuscript in an astounding ten days, from the moment he woke up from his dream.
In 1959, writer Richard Bach, an avid aviator, heard what he called a "disembodied voice" whisper the title of this novella into his ear. He immediately wrote the first few chapters of the work before running out of inspiration. He shelved the half-finished manuscript and it wasn't until eight years later, after he had a dream about the now-famous titular seagull, that he was able to complete what is one of the most profound and philosophically-moving novellas ever written.