Late last year I discovered CSI on DVD. I began watching two or three episodes a day, to distract from my clinical depression in the face of prolonged unemployment. In addition to my naughty fantasies about Warrick, I began dreaming of entirely new episodes of the show. That is, I would invent fully casted and scripted credit-to-credit dramas during my sleep, complete with the trademark gore and science. I thought these were fascinating, and often thought about writing them down and honing them into scripts. Unfortunately, I couldn't write anything during this time, and resolved instead to watch more sitcoms, or maybe try harder to get a job.
I watched Sin City on DVD last night and it was fantastic. Fantastic in the manner of Kill Bill, where the viewer is transported to an alternate reality for a few hours. The viewer can truly escape into the new world. Delightful as it was, I was pretty sure that it would give me nightmares, and it did. But my nightmares have taken on this permanent narrative form. Last night, I dreamt an episode in the manner of CourtTV, of a murder mystery being resolved at my sister's house in Upstate NY, while I was there visiting. How funny that my subconscious enjoys a violent mystery which slowly reveals itself bit by bloody bit. How funny that my subconscious follows all the rules of good TV writing, keeping me engaged until the very end, when Aha! I bolt awake with that last gruesome image in my mind.
I raise this topic because, before my procedural crime fabrications, I never gave dreams much thought. They were a brief respite at most. I realize my recent Hollywood nocturnal excursions are mostly apery of an established form, but the way they are fashioned with original components is no less unique than any story I've seen or read. How many legends, songs, or works of art have begun this way?
Am I merely the last to discover nature's most creative fountainhead of fiction? What is going on that causes me to come up with better stories asleep than I can compose while I am awake?