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Ludicrum
04-08-2011, 02:14 PM
So there I was, snoozing away, when my subconscious mind decided to show me a fantasy story scenario that totally blew my mind. So I woke up and was all "oh my God, that's an awesome idea!"

My first instinct was to get out of bed and write it down. I had somehow managed to get tangled in my sheets and for some reason I was 100 times more afraid of the dark than usual, but I said "dammit, I'm a writer and I have an idea!" With that I threw off the sheets and reached over to the lamp by my bed. Only it didn't work.

That meant I'd have to get up and walk across the darkened room, which at this point was giving me chills. But dammit, I'm a writer, so I got up, hurried across the room, and flipped the light switch. It didn't work. The darkness was truly oppressive now and I started hearing faint whispering in my left ear.

I looked desperately around the room for any light source and could only find my computer's LCD monitor. I hit the power button as fast as I could and the blue power indicator light came on. I breathed a sigh of relief, curled up in the corner of the room (which seemed to have gotten three times as big in the last few seconds), and rocked back and forth in the fetal position as the monitor took FOREVER to light up. It eventually did and the room was brightened. This seemed to have gotten the lights to work too, because I tried the light switch again and it worked this time. I thanked my computer for saving my sanity.

Then I woke up for real. I tried my bedside lamp just to be sure that it worked and that I was actually awake this time. It did and I was. The funny thing is, the story idea that prompted my dream-within-a-dream experience was actually good, so I stopped barely long enough to piss before I rushed to my computer to write it down. This now brings me to my writing of this very post.

Not sure if I'll actually use the idea or not. I'll probably realize later that it isn't as good as my dream made it out to be, and I would have to think of which project to put it in and how to rework the idea so that it fits into my project's established universe. Still, it was an interesting "writer" experience so I thought I'd share it.

EDIT: Only just now has my sleep-addled thoughts cleared enough for me to realize that someone probably made a thread about story ideas from dreams already. If so then I apologize. It's 6 AM over here and I haven't even eaten yet.

Oshodisa
04-08-2011, 02:53 PM
A while ago I had this fantastic, vivid dream which seemed too good to be true.

I woke up and for once didn't drop straight back to sleep, and I could clearly remember the dream - which still seemed amazing and totally unique.

It was the middle of the night so I 'quietly' un-burried the notebook I keep by the bed for just these occasions, and scrambled around on the bedside table for a pen - knocking stuff off the other side in my haste/befuddled clumsyness.

Somehow I didn't wake up my sleeping other half, and low and behold, the dream had not started to slip from my memory yet. So in the half dark of my beside lamp (energy saving bulbs seem to take forever to get to a good light) I hastily scribbled away, writing for three or four pages.

Notes taken, I sank back into bed and breathed a sigh of relief - wow, that story would be amazing, I'm so glad I got it down on paper - I thought before falling back to sleep.

Some indeterminate time (weeks) later i was going through the notebook looking for something else, bang - there was this idea which I had completely forgotten about.

I read through it, or more accurately, I interpretted the scribbles I had written in my half asleep state into something approximating English, and lo - the story sucked arse. Not original, not exciting, fully of Mary Sue types and vampires! I have never had vampire ideas before and never wanted to write in that direction. Don't know what my subconcious was trying to tell me.

There goeth my dream story - I hope your dream turns out better than mine did!!

Jamesaritchie
04-08-2011, 03:29 PM
I've dreamed stories before, but not ideas. For me, ideas are meaningless. I don;t believe there is such a thing as a good or a bad idea. All ideas are equal, and become good or bad depending on how well you write them. This means I never write down an idea.

But I have dreamed actual stories, beginning to end, and just had to write them pretty much verbatim.

heza
04-08-2011, 04:46 PM
I have two stories I'm writing based off dreams. In my dreams, the entire story won't play out, but a very specific scene will, complete with all the characters and world and details, down to the kinds of hats everyone's wearing. And for some reason, my mind knows why all that's there, even though I didn't dream the first part of the story, and my mind seems to have formed some idea of what happens later, where these people are going and what's fated to them.

I've never had a dream that I wrote down notes and later decided it was stupid. I do have to weed out a lot of "... and suddenly there were muppets and we were all on this giant roller coaster made of pixie stix...." The story I'm trying to get at is continually interrupted by these subconscious tangents that have to go before I get to the "not stupid" parts, but it's pretty easy to distinguish the story from the chili cheese dog.

cameron_chapman
04-08-2011, 04:47 PM
I have zombie dreams on a regular basis, and I'm taking it as a sign that I need to write zombie books. Some of them are just ridiculous, but a couple of the dreams have had unique twists on the typical zombie lore. Those are the ones that will probably get worked into a story at a later date.

I've also had dreams about my stories, or about my characters after I've started writing. Sometimes they give me ideas and sometimes they don't.

Dreams are just your subconscious mind's way of working things out. So it makes sense that you'd be able to pull some great story ideas from them.

Pistol Whipped Bee
04-08-2011, 05:06 PM
This dream will influence my next book - http://neftwink.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/portal/

All my future books will revolve around themes from dreams I've had. I get into mine.

AlwaysJuly
04-08-2011, 05:16 PM
I wrote a few stories from dreams when I was younger, and I still want to re-write them and give them another shot at life. It is funny how brilliant dream-stories seem at 2am as opposed to at 9am, though.

The dream-within-a-dream is different. That must have been trippy.

Phaeal
04-08-2011, 05:24 PM
I've several times written stories based on dreams, but only after the dream ideas have resided in the bunny hutch for a while and matured. I find raw dreams hugely compelling but too ephemeral for prose -- like waking ideas, if the compulsion remains strong, the raw idea will gradually accrue enough substance and specifics to make it to a first draft.

Oh, and one of my recurring nightmares is entering a dark house in which none of the lights is working, so the OP freaked me out. :D

Rhoda Nightingale
04-08-2011, 05:25 PM
I keep a dream journal next to my bed at all times. And I write them down whenever I remember them. Because you never know.

Most of them are too short and weird to do anything with story-wise, but sometimes they can be useful. I've had some real gnarly nightmares.

c.m.n.
04-08-2011, 05:33 PM
I've written several short stories based off of dreams when I was younger too.
A lot of my dreams are too weird to do anything with, therefore I never kept a journal of them. A good majority of them are about tornadoes or flying. Hehe

But when I was about 12, I had this wonderful dream that I wrote up into a novella. Lately I've been thinking of taking that and re-writing, it is a very very interesting idea.

muravyets
04-08-2011, 07:07 PM
The OP dream is wonderful. Very scary. Write it!

I have bizarre and elaborate dreams which I keep in a notebook waiting to be used for full stories, plot elements, whatever. Many of my dreams are horror stories, but not nightmares, if that makes sense.

I've only ever had two nightmares in my life. I knew exactly what stress triggered both of them, and I saved both of them for the emotions they brought out in me. They're the only times I've ever felt that much fear or that much desperation, so, just in case I need to write that some day...

One of my favorite story-dream moments was when I was in Prague, staying in a B&B in a house dating from the 1500s that had these 1700s cherubs painted on the ceiling in my bedroom. I woke up in the middle of the night with four perfectly outlined ghost stories in my head. Quickly wrote them down, a paragraph synopsis for each of them, and went back to sleep. I haven't written them yet. Not sure if I'll write them or do them as art books, or both. But I also outlined a ghost story for how the four stories came to me.

COchick
04-08-2011, 07:17 PM
The book I'm working on now began as a dream about 8 years ago. I don't know why, but this one scene has always stuck with me and I think I've been waiting for the right time to write it!

AlwaysJuly
04-08-2011, 09:04 PM
You know, I realized long after I posted my earlier response that my novella (looking for a home) and the outlined novel that I'm planning as my next WIP both came from dreams. Not the entire plot (I'm not that lucky) but a sense of something that came through so strongly I wanted to write something about it, and then it evolved from there into something with a real plot.

Personally, I need for a dream-concept to spend some time in my subconscious (again) before it's ready to go on the page, but they can be very inspiring.

Stormhawk
04-10-2011, 01:22 AM
I usually get creature types, rather than stories from dreams - three so far. :D

S.J.
04-10-2011, 01:34 AM
I usually get ideas from DAYdreaming. I spend an unhealthy amount of time gazing out of the window or at the ceiling. Does that count? :)

AlishaS
04-10-2011, 02:27 AM
I can fully admit that I have had dreams, written down notes and written them into full length books. (three of them to date)
I too also keep a notebook on my bedside table, which, is full of dream snippets and notes.

Jessianodel
04-10-2011, 02:34 AM
I got all my ideas from dreams or daydreams. There is one that sparked a whole series and I can still remember every detail although I have a hard time trying to explain it to others. As soon as I try, some of the details fall away and I just tell them the bare basics.

Unfortunately that current series is on whole. I want to become a better writer before starting it because I have a feeling that if I continue with it, it will become trunk junk. I love the plot too much to waste it :)

Victoria
04-11-2011, 12:23 AM
When I was eleven, I had a dream about a witch that killed people by pounding metal chiseles into their heads with a hammer. She was in my house, somewhere between me and the phone in my bedroom. I had to call for help, so I bolted down the hall and into my room, slamming the door behind me and locking it. Just as I grabbed the phone, I felt the tip of the chisel on top of my head. I woke up, jotted it down, and showed it to my two older sisters. Needless to say, I've been the 'creepy sister' ever since. If they could only see what I'm writing now... I doesn't make much sense for a witch to kill people that way, but maybe if I tweak it a bit, I could use the premise in a story. Someday.

Bryan V
04-11-2011, 02:33 AM
I always have crazy-a$$ dreams that I wake up to and think "WHY HASN'T ANYONE EVER WRITTEN A BOOK ABOUT THIS?!?! IT'S GENIUS!" I jot it down sloppily and fall back asleep. Then I wake up and read it again and think, "What the heck is wrong with me? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard."
Some dreams, granted, have given me whole books or helped me when I was in a tight spot of writer's block, but most of them are just too crazy to write about.

DeleyanLee
04-11-2011, 02:57 AM
One night, when I was newly married (long long time ago), I had a dream about a bunch of people on a train who were side-tracked and gassed to death because of a karmic contract they hadn't remembered to fulfill prior to that time.

The weird thing about this dream was that my new husband (and then collaborator) had a similar dream, except the people died by different means.

It made for interesting breakfast conversation, since neither of us tend to remember dreams. We immediately saw how the two dreams meshed, how everything tied together and a plot was hatched before dinner.

Unfortunately, it never came to anything, but it was an interesting incident.

Bryan V
04-11-2011, 03:09 AM
One night, when I was newly married (long long time ago), I had a dream about a bunch of people on a train who were side-tracked and gassed to death because of a karmic contract they hadn't remembered to fulfill prior to that time.

The weird thing about this dream was that my new husband (and then collaborator) had a similar dream, except the people died by different means.

It made for interesting breakfast conversation, since neither of us tend to remember dreams. We immediately saw how the two dreams meshed, how everything tied together and a plot was hatched before dinner.

Unfortunately, it never came to anything, but it was an interesting incident.

Interesting. That's pretty cool. My twin brother and I have shared the same dream when we were little. We both remember it (unless it wasn't a dream...but I seriously hope it was. A skeleton dancing on the basement wall? Yeah...)
Anyone else have friends who tell you a dream of theirs, and you steal it for your story? I did that for one scene in my WIP, but my friend gave me permission to use the idea.

backslashbaby
04-11-2011, 04:36 AM
The dreams I remember are too crazy 99% of the time. I have had some good horror stories from dreams. Unfortunately, I still couldn't write them well enough. There's potential, at least.

I'm another one who needs to be fully awake to decide if something is crap or not. The things I think are brilliant while groggy rarely make any damned sense at all :D

pandora
04-11-2011, 04:59 AM
Plotting and characters in dreams and half-awake states has recently become a part of my process. If I don't get up and write down what I'm seeing and hearing, it won't stop. An old dream plot skeleton recently blew up into a beginning to end novel idea, and I can't go anywhere at this point without index cards for that one. Part of me thinks its hormones. If all i did was write though, I wonder if I would still dream plots--it kind of feels like okay, writer person, you haven't cut me loose from your subconcious on your own, so here I come, ready or not. The thing about the most recent dream is it's helping me finish the current novel (10,000 words to go) by manifesting, as I had started to spin my wheels. Stories want life, to breathe fresh air, I guess! Well, more likely the subconcious is more aware in its own way than I am at times about my process...

latourdumoine
04-11-2011, 06:06 AM
I have two stories I'm writing based off dreams. In my dreams, the entire story won't play out, but a very specific scene will, complete with all the characters and world and details, down to the kinds of hats everyone's wearing. And for some reason, my mind knows why all that's there, even though I didn't dream the first part of the story, and my mind seems to have formed some idea of what happens later, where these people are going and what's fated to them.

I've never had a dream that I wrote down notes and later decided it was stupid. I do have to weed out a lot of "... and suddenly there were muppets and we were all on this giant roller coaster made of pixie stix...." The story I'm trying to get at is continually interrupted by these subconscious tangents that have to go before I get to the "not stupid" parts, but it's pretty easy to distinguish the story from the chili cheese dog.

Precisely, I was thinking how it's the same for me, and how I know why people and things are there, right before I read what you wrote. And it's the same for me, you just nip and tuck a little bit here, and a little bit there, and you have something pretty interesting.


This dream will influence my next book - http://neftwink.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/portal/

All my future books will revolve around themes from dreams I've had. I get into mine.
I love that entry. Can't wait to read the book that's coming from it. And I've been doing the same thing all my life. The first dream I consciously reworked into a story, occurred when I was thirteen, then I realized I'd been doing it all the time. It tied in to a story I was working on then, totally expanded it. I didn't realize then that there were spiritual elements in it, but after that, they just kept on coming.


One night, when I was newly married (long long time ago), I had a dream about a bunch of people on a train who were side-tracked and gassed to death because of a karmic contract they hadn't remembered to fulfill prior to that time.

The weird thing about this dream was that my new husband (and then collaborator) had a similar dream, except the people died by different means.

It made for interesting breakfast conversation, since neither of us tend to remember dreams. We immediately saw how the two dreams meshed, how everything tied together and a plot was hatched before dinner.

Unfortunately, it never came to anything, but it was an interesting incident.
I know this will sound totally unbelievable, but I had almost the exact same thing happen to me. Except that it happened when I saw certain people. There was such an intensity about that experience. Later I found out those people had it as well. And maybe, after some time you can pick it up again. I know that when it first happened, I couldn't really work with it, though I tried, when it happened again, several years later, I knew I couldn't do anything with it, so I left it, though there were attempts at writing it from different angles. Then, it all jumped into place. It was always about trains and karma.

Funny thing is, I really wanted to work one of the recurring dreams into a story. After some time I realized that I'd been doing just that all along, I just never noticed.

Another time, I tried lucid dreaming. Couldn't remember a thing. What got me was that I woke up and thought to myself, I had better write this down. But I was too lazy to get up and write it all down. Obviously I forgot the dream, which irked me for a very long time. But then I was writing this story, I don't remember how I got the inspiration, and the more I worked on it and with it, the more I realized that I was using the dream I thought I'd forgotten.

Kenpoclimber
04-17-2011, 04:13 AM
my dreams are awesome....really truly awesome. There was one dream that I've started to put down into story.....I am deep in an alien jungle with several other companions. We are being watched, we can feel it. slowly we draw our swords and form up, back to back. From the trees comes a swarm of enemies. We fight hard, just barely keeping back the fray. One of us if falls, then another, until I see the last of my companions slump, dead, to the root-covered earth. Suddenly I am pulled through the forest at incedible speeds, as if some giant hand has yanked me back. I emerge from the treeline and am now floating high above some mountain peaks. It is a clear day. The warmth of the sun is on my skin. Gently I float down through eternity, colors flaring around me. I glide through the moutain, now looking down at an endless golden beach that is moving like water. I fly down. The wind carries me through the sand. Then I wake up.

Very inspiring, I tell ya!!

PhyliA_Dobe
04-20-2011, 08:12 PM
I had a dream two nights ago that I'm trying to mold into...something. A doe was standing in the woods with me. It was beautiful, trusting, purity incarnate. I told it to run, could feel a clock ticking. Something primal was welling up within me. Pushed the deer, tried to spook it into fleeing. It wouldn't run, just sort of watched me. The next thing I know I had a frying pan in my hand and I'm cooking up onions, shouting for the damned thing to run. NOW! I woke up with this sense that it wasn't for me to teach the deer that I was predator. But to teach the deer that it wasn't a choice. Something about the dichotomy of dischord vs. unity. *scratches head* I often wake up with the sense that I'm smarter on the inside.

I have a long history of vivid dreaming. My earliest memory is a dream I had when I was 4. I may have been younger, but my best guess was 4.

I typically write romance. Life is brutal and ugly. I need the happy endings in my romance stories to gasp for air. My dreams, however, are very not romantic. Sci fi, futuristic, horror, suspense, YA. There's a bible full of story ideas in my notebooks that seem unlikely to ever be written. Most days I wish there were three of me. I'll never get finished in a lifetime nearly half the stories that dwell inside.