Had a fascinating dream last night that gave me the change in story direction I needed to get Hacker Dragon back on track. I was writing, but it was slow as molasses... and then I came up with the next twist to get it moving again.
I get a lot of material from dreams. I have very brilliant, colorful, vivid dreams. Sometimes very strange ones, at that. I've got another tale in the works, a seed of an idea that is germinating as we speak. It came straight out of a very bizarre dream involving a blue dragon, hiding in a mudslide, and a strange post-war environment of refugees. I've now got a tale in my head that tells the story of an amnesiac sniper who must discover his identity... all the while he is now working against the people he used to work for.
I don't know where it's going, but I do know what the final confrontation will look like.
Dreams are a fertile source of ideas for me. I was trained very early in life to remember my dreams, and I've gotten quite good at it. I usually lose a little of the "feel" of a dream, but I do remember most of them. Enough to build my stories on. I also tend to work out nasty plot knots as I lie in bed, trying to fall asleep. Given that it generally takes me at least an hour to fall asleep (sometimes longer), that's usually a lot of very focused concentration. Which usually leads to more dreams, more ideas, and I literally work out my novel's problems while I dream.
It's a good system, and works for me.