I have a lot of bizarre dreams, sometimes nightmares. I've plucked a couple of story ideas from those subconscious, unconscious mind pictures, even created a character for a short story that has grown into a novel called Wishing Caswell Dead.
The dream I had about the grizzly has curious possibilities. I was walking on a path like one of the natural area trails that are common in Northern Colorado. Without warning, I came upon a grizzly bear and her two cubs. Mama grizzly charged. I nonchalantly told her I would leave, and I turned my back and walked away.
In my dream, I turned my back on a grizzly bear and calmly walked away.
I can't imagine where this came from. There are no grizzly bears in my part of Colorado. The only real bear I ever saw in the wild was a small creature somewhere in the Appalachians sometime in the 70s. And if I did run into a mama grizzly with two cubs, and the mama charged at me, I would freak out.
The grizzly dream made wonder what might happen if a story character had no fear. Not the reckless type who feels the fear and does it anyway, but someone who was skipped when normal fight or flight responses were passed out, similar to a person who does not feel physical pain and cannot imagine what such pain feels like. If I took that character and placed him in a burning building...or in the path of a charging grizzly bear, what would he do?
Story ideas are everywhere, even in dreams and nightmares. Do you tend to remember your dreams? Do you find them useful?