View Full Version : It came to me in a dream

06-11-2009, 10:13 AM
It's a cliche, but it's happened to me a lot. My newest finished WIP, a sci-fi monster movie style piece, was inspired by the monsters I would see in my dreams when I was about 9 years old. I'm also working on an outline for a future piece based on a nightmare I recently had (involving a slaughtered lamb and possible molestation...yeah, it's a psychological thriller :eek:).

What inspiring and creative dreams have you had?

06-11-2009, 12:36 PM
Honestly? Nothing. Really. I've never had a dream that led to or inspired a piece of work. I'm amazed when people say that this happens to them. My dreams are usually a bunch of useless mumbo-jumbo.

06-11-2009, 01:07 PM
... same here. And I usually can't even remember my dreams. Kudos to those who can and who are able to make use of them, too.

06-11-2009, 01:47 PM
I don't usually remember my dreams long enough to write them down, but i do know that i'm often not me in my dreams--and look different if i happen upon something reflective--and have that person/character's entire set of memories for the duration of the dream. I've had some very confused mornings where it's taken me a while to separate dream memories (not as in remembering dreams, but in-dream character's actual memories) from real memories. It's a real strange feeling being inside someone else's head, even if they're only fictional dream people.

06-11-2009, 02:14 PM
It does happen to me, but very rare. Might happen more if my writing was going better. My dreams are mostly a bunch of anxieties.

My greatest envy is for Robert Louis Stevenson, who could not only dream entire book-length stories, but see them acted out in his head IN ORDER. Next day, just wrote them down. Talk about working in your sleep!

Michael Davis
06-11-2009, 05:05 PM
I must be weird. A significant portion of my stories and scenes come to me in dreams, both in my novels and short stories. For example, in my novel FORGOTTEN CHILDREN the heroine has a dream at a carousal. That was based on a dream I had. In a new short story that just got released last week called RIMFIRE, a major portion of the story was derived from dreams across different nights. Like I said, I'm weird (g).

The Lonely One
06-11-2009, 07:20 PM
My dreams indicate I might need psychological evaluation.

End of the world, 747s flying into houses, the moon splitting in half, ocean liners beaching and knocking over high-rises kind of shit.

I've gotten a few stories from dreams. "The Purple Bell Flower" was from a dream, yet to be published.

The thing about dreams is they're so disjointed that IMO you can't just write a dream. You have to make a usable plot of its elements.

I do wonder, however, if writers become so obsessed with their stories and craft that the way a story is formed seeps into their dreams. It hasn't happened to me but I wonder if others have experienced that sort of thing.

06-11-2009, 07:35 PM
The thing about dreams is they're so disjointed that IMO you can't just write a dream. You have to make a usable plot of its elements.

I think this is true. I have very complex, detailed dreams that I am pretty good at remembering but they rarely make much sense.

I do use images or elements of dreams in my writing, usually as touchstones to build scenes around. My current WIP has plot point that was pulled from a dream image. (Nightmare image, rather: beautiful room full of books charred to a crisp.) I dream interesting locations sometimes, and I use them for settings or whatnot.

I am still trying to figure out something to write around the dream I had about wearing a gorgeous violet ball gown that was embroidered with living eyeballs. My subconscious is weird.

Kitty Pryde
06-11-2009, 08:18 PM
I agree, dream plots are a pile of nonsense usually. But I get a lot of interesting images from my dreams. Scenes and settings usually, that tend toward SF or fantasy imagery, or an interaction between two people. But plot I gotta work out when I'm awake. My current WIP is based on a dream: I went to see a play/musical spectacular that was totally amazing. The theater was like the reverse of a theater in the round, the audience in the center, and the stage a huge ring all the way around them. Um, and it was on a boat.

Last night I outlined a new fantasy novel based on a dream, sort of. I used to have recurring dreams, and this story would be about a guy having a similar series of dreams, and not being able to figure out if they are real or real-ish or not.

The other day I watched a very unsatisfying season finale (Breaking Bad). I was upset that they hadn't revealed more about WTF is going on. That night I dreamed a continuation of the episode, with a full conclusion. It was satisfying, until I woke up and realized it made no sense whatsoever in regards to the plot of the actual show...

Ms. Jem
06-11-2009, 08:38 PM
An MC in my first novel is someone I've been visualizing in dreams and out for quite some time. One day I just decided to write about him. By that time, we were family. Funny how the mind prepares you for what's to come.

The Rav
06-11-2009, 08:45 PM
My dreams don't usually stand out, but occasionally they become excellent short story material. A story I published earlier this year was actually because of a dream I'd had probably 15 years ago. I had a dream earlier this year that spelled out another short story to the letter (I jumped out of bed at 5 AM and turned on the computer quick! :D ). So dreams can be helpful to me on occasions, but not very often.

06-11-2009, 08:49 PM
I don't write fantasy but I get alot of good ideas for suspense right after I go to bed. I can usually work out a scene or start a conversation while I relax. Hey it works for me

06-11-2009, 09:36 PM
I've only ever been able to remember a single dream and it was actually a nightmare I had when I was very young. Even now I remember bits and pieces of it, but on the whole even that memory has faded.

Sometimes I wish I could remember, but then I think of that nightmare and decide I'm probably better off without the ability.

06-12-2009, 06:41 AM
Well said, all. TLO I'd love to get so excited about a WIP I have dreams about it. I haven't got to that stage yet, but that would indicate I did something right.

Here's a interesting dream I had: AW mod RT and Kimiko Ross (http://dresdencodak.com/cast/) playing chess, on a stage with lamplight and a whole bunch of small animals as the chess pieces. Somehow Charlie Kaufman was involved... :ROFL:

06-12-2009, 10:25 AM
I get ideas from my dreams. Usually the ideas are actually sequels to whatever plot is rolling around in my head at the time, so I assume that's some mixture between my subconscious and conscious thought. :shrug:

Occastionally I get dream up entirely new stories, and those are the ones I really love.