Some of the more interesting ideas for stories come to me as I'm going to sleep. This does tend to make it difficult to fall asleep, however, as I'm too busy plotting to get any sleeping done.
Sometimes I wonder if it's my inner muses making up for lack of actual bedtime stories. Not that I didn't read before bed - once again, stopping any sleeping from going on - but traditional 'read the midget child to sleep' action was absent as my parents worked night shifts. Now to derail the sympathy train, my nighttime musings are definitely not childlike bedtime tales.
It doesn't even play like words in my mind. Most of them are cinematic in feel - images playing in my head as I try to find that mystical place that takes me to dream-land. I used to drive myself crazy; watching the 'movie' then getting up to write them all down, thus moving me even further away from sleep. Trying to describe the half-formed ideas into words would keep me up the rest of the night.
This is when I decided to get clever; I started keeping a tape recorder next to my bed, pilfered from my college days of large lecture halls and little attention spans. When I would start getting my 'big-screen ideas' I would click it on, and voice out the dialogue scenes, and anything that I took note of.
Was I moving through thick forests, or running down smog-filled streets? Was I alone, or did I tightly grip the hand of my precious person? Were those hands dry? Sweaty? Stained with blood? Also holding a knife or rope?
It was then later my job, after waking in the morning, to rewind the tape and try to translate and decipher what the hell I was saying. But it's much easier to do when I slept the night before!