View Full Version : Dreaming books?

01-09-2008, 11:09 AM
I have a very, uh, cinematic subconscious. Last night I was up reading till the wee hours, Alistair Reynolds' Pushing Ice. I put the book down at a point where the plot reached a crucial juncture that completely changed the situation the characters found themselves in, and I went to sleep almost immediately.

I proceeded to dream the rest of the book, right through to a climax and resolution. It was an awesome and crazy story, though in the light of day its dream logic made no sense whatsoever. Now I'm worried that when I read the rest of the book it won't live up to the version I dreamed up.

Does this happen regularly to anyone else? Is this something writers do because we're always consciously and subconsciously imagining how we'd improve the things we read? Do you guys ever dream you're minor characters in books? Major characters?

01-09-2008, 11:33 AM
I occasionally dream I'm Batman or Robin, which is awesome. My dreams aren't coherent enough to complete entire novels, but I do incorporate stuff I'm reading. Last night I was watching Samurai Jack with my husband when I drifted off, and he proceeded to play a video game. My subconscious took the dialogue from the game and converted it into an elaborate Samurai Jack story, complete in full color illustration. THAT was pretty surreal. :)

01-09-2008, 07:12 PM
Am I the only one that doesn't have linear dreams like that? Mine tend to start and end in the middle of whatever scene is being played out.

Will Lavender
01-09-2008, 07:27 PM
I dream maybe twice a month. In 90% of the dreams I've had in the last decade, I'm back playing sports for my high school team. Many times I'm frantic because I've forgotten my uniform.

01-09-2008, 07:52 PM
I dream every time I sleep and remember about 80% of them.

I was once told I don't get enough of the "deep sleep" where you don't dream or aren't aware of it if you do. I guess I am in a constant state of REM sleep.

Anyway...yeah I know all about what you are talking about.
I read almost every night and constantly....and I dream constantly.
I sometimes take the books characters and incorporate them into my dreams..but I am hardly ever disappointed with the book afterwards.

It's about like the theory, you can't steal a half-finished WIP, finish it, and then pass it off as your own. (Which I still think is plausible.)

So....my "dream story" can be good....but I know the authors will be better.

01-09-2008, 08:05 PM
I've been having [mostly] nightmares lately . . . not from reading, though.

01-09-2008, 08:12 PM
I don't have nightmares, or I should say I rarely wake up scared from a dream, unless it involves lava. I hate lava and it freaks me the hell out when I dream about it. Not fire . . .lava. I've never gotten anything creative from dreams either but I have transposed movie characters from the screen to my dreams and they act completely out of character but they're there in their costumed selves.

Moon Daughter
01-09-2008, 09:47 PM
Nope, can't say that I've dreamed about characters of books I've read. I typically dream every night about me dying, someone else dying, or me killing someone. I wonder...

01-09-2008, 09:57 PM
on the last day of my vacation i tackled a story that i had written ten years ago. i always liked the main character but the rest of the story was fairly slow reading. i am a better writer now, so decided to take on the story. i was in my p.j.'s for two days. when i finished i felt like i had a much better story on my hard drive. so i e-submitted it and went to bed. that night i dreamed my character was trapped in a block of limestone and that i chipped her free. when she stepped out of the limestone she was wearing the red sweater,penny loafers and baggy blue jeans that she was wearing at the end of the story. she thanked me and went on her way. how is that for plumb chango bizarre?---s6

01-09-2008, 10:07 PM
Sleep?? Whats that.....lol

01-10-2008, 12:08 AM
I dream in colour, sound and story.

Dream logic plays a part, but often it's easily tweaked. My main problem is allowing the dreams to fade away before I have a chance to put them down on paper.

I've had a couple of dreams turn into stories - the recent being a WIP short. At first I was like "that's very strange...no way I can do anything with that". When I took step back, I realised it was supposed to be mythic, and that the logic did in fact work, and was quite profound at the same time.

01-10-2008, 01:23 AM
I dream maybe twice a month. In 90% of the dreams I've had in the last decade, I'm back playing sports for my high school team. Many times I'm frantic because I've forgotten my uniform.

You mean you remember your dreams about twice a month. If you only dreamed twice a month you'd probably be a drooling shell in a padded room by now (that's the best cast scenario).

One thing that is useful to try is setting your alarm for about 3:00 a.m. (assuming you don't have to get up till 6:00 or 7:00). Stay awake for about a half an hour/forty minutes (reading or whatever, just nothing TOO stimulating) and then go back to sleep.

The dreams you will have after doing this are usually much more intense and vivid than what you would have otherwise. It's also useful if you want to induce lucid dreaming (where you're "awake" in the dream and can make conscious decisions as to what to do next). I used to do this regularly and had some VERY trippy experiences.

01-10-2008, 01:44 AM
I continue to read whatever I was reading before I went to sleep, sure. I can never remember what happened, but I know that I was reading, and sometimes wake up and go 'where did my book go? Wasn't it in my hand?' Also, I dream about characters from TV or literature or whatever I've been thinking about lately -- Freddie Mercury showed up once, in silhouette with a lot of glitter. It was actually somewhat terrifying. He then turned into a little black lizard with too many legs, which was scarier.

Much more interesting than this is the time I had a dream in which I wrote a play, and it was witty and funny and moving and had snappy dialogue. This guy I knew when I was a kid and I were cleaning something up and reciting lines back and forth at each other, and the play was genius, and we both knew it. I was sure it was the best thing I'd ever write.

And then I woke up, and the whole thing vanished. It was tragic. I mean, I still get all sad about it. The best thing I'll ever write.

01-10-2008, 02:22 AM
I totally do that to - dream I've written something utterly brilliant, and then when I wake up it's either gone, was never there, or is complete gibberish. Usually the last.

01-10-2008, 08:47 AM
I was once told I don't get enough of the "deep sleep" where you don't dream or aren't aware of it if you do. I guess I am in a constant state of REM sleep.

I think that's me, too.

Oh, and speaking of dreaming books, my dream last night would make a great scary movie/psychological thriller. I'm considering it, sorta.