Can dreams make for brilliant writing?

I read once that James Cameron came up with the idea for The Terminator from a dream he had*. Stephen King came up for the idea of his novel Misery while asleep on a trans-Atlantic flight.

I have had some weird dreams in my life, and last night’s was no exception. Actor Ethan Suplee was about five times his normal size and had turned into an incorrigible ne’er-do-well who was terrorizing people. At the end of the dream a frightened rabbit swam away from him.

Other dreams I’ve had I think now it is best to write the details down when you wake up and put them into a fiction ideas notebook. You never know what began as a strange dream stemming from spicy food or from a lack of sleep can turn into a best-selling novel.

* Apparently, sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison had that dream also: he later successfully sued Cameron, arguing that The Terminator plagiarized several of his own short stories.

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