Bridging the Gap: inspiration vs skill

As great as it feels to have figured out the problem with my story, it doesn’t actually make the solution all that easy.

I’m a lazy writer. Most of my story ideas come from dreams, and my main skill is transferring the vague and often disjointed visions into something that I enjoy reading.

With this story, I know the beginning and I know the second half. I’m finding that there’s a lot of stuff that needs to come between those two points for the story to both make sense and flow well. Stuff like ‘why did the villain do X?’, ‘why do the good guys not see the problem?’, ‘why does MC care?’. When you add in the need for some exposition and world-building, it becomes obvious just how big a section this is.

I’m used to relying on the dream sequences to give the story shape; they tend to have just enough shadowy structure that I can drag a real plot out of them. When I don’t have enough story, I’ll wait till my subconscious can throw something together, something that can take years. That’s how lazy I am.

I do know how to write without inspiration, it’s just that I’ve just always separated the two. With a story that is dream-inspired, I try to match the ‘feel’ of the dream and build on the bedrock of the story that I found there. With a a consciously directed story, I’m more willing to experiment and grope around for the plot.

Trying to mix the two feels weird. Is this what maturity feels like?


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