“The notes that Jemisin jotted down after her dream went into a folder on her computer where she stores “snippets, ideas, random thoughts.” Some are drawn from her reading of nonfiction: Jared Diamond’s “Collapse,” Charles Mann’s “1491,” Alan Weisman’s “The World Without Us.” Eventually, she told me, “this fragment pairs up with that fragment, and they form a Voltron, and become a story.””

From: N. K. Jemisin’s Dream Worlds

“Jemisin’s writing process often begins with dreams: imagery vivid enough to hang on into wakefulness. She does not so much mine them for insight as treat them as portals to hidden worlds. Her tendency is to interrogate what she sees with if/then questions, until her field of vision widens enough for her to glimpse a landscape that can hold a narrative. The inspiration for her début novel, “The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” (2010), was a dream vision of two gods. One had dark-as-night hair that contained a starry cosmos of infinite depth; the other, in a child’s body, manipulated planets like toys. From these images, Jemisin spun out a four-hundred-page story about an empire that enslaves its deities.”

From: N. K. Jemisin’s Dream Worlds