Have you ever suddenly woken up from a bad dream? Probably.
Have you ever combined something going on in real life into your dream? Like, say a thunderstorm or an alarm clock or a ringing phone? Sure, who hasn't?
Have you ever laughed yourself awake? Erm...maybe?
Ok, well have you ever woken yourself up purely from an idea?
I had that experience the other night. Yes there was a thunderstorm and yes 90% of the dream made less sense than 50% of Inception. But the core idea of the story was just way too cool to pass up! At least I thought it was...
Then I realized the coffin nail (so to speak) of this particular idea: vampires.
"It's alright," I thought to myself, "no one's done vampires in a while, right?"
So the idea got noted in a far flung corner of a random notebook in the apartment. It'll probably rot there until the next round of blood-sucker mania sweeps the nation. It's not to say that the idea wouldn't be good enough or that I couldn't write the story well enough to get sold.
But at this point, I feel like it's just another strike against me before I even start. And that's not meant to sound self-defeating, but rather it's a fact. A project started today probably won't be ready for submission for another year. Factor in maybe another year until that (hopefully) gets picked up, then at least a year after that before it hits the shelves. Are people still going to be craving vampires in 3 years? Some will, probably not going to be as big as it is now.
So the vampire-idea (which, incidentally combines "Revenge of the Nerds" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"...sorta) will remain in the notebook for a later time. Now I just have to wait for a vivid dream about steam-powered robots and time-jumping samurai!