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Dreams and Dreaming

I have always been interested in dreams and dreaming and when I was in college I found myself writing a lot of papers on the subject. I have found that I have incorporated a few of my rather more fantastical dreams into my writing because sometimes they just make for really interesting stories (when I can remember to write them down ;)).

So this made me wonder, do any of you find yourself using your own dreams or a dream someone else told you about in your stories at all?


Funny thing is, although I do keep a dream diary, hardly any of that stuff makes it into my writing. Sometimes it works in reverse though - if I dream about one of my stories or characters, I'll wake up with a much clearer idea of how they should be written. The subconscious is a strange thing indeed...


My dreams rarely make enough sense to inspire more than a passing thought. For example, a recurring dream I have features myself and some friends swimming about the sky as goldfish (the cracker, not the animal). The closest thing to coherent recurring dreams I have (as an aside, I don't remember any dreams but those I have twice or more) is (1) a weird dream in which, as a 7 year old, I find a cult in the band room at my elementary school, and I am dating their leader, and they summon a giant spider which chases us back to my house, where we hide under the day bed; and (2) a dream that is in sepia tone where I (as a woman, still[!]) am a Confederate general during the American Civil War. So, no. There is nothing coming out of those and heading into my writing.
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My favourites of the stories I write began as dreams. They change one hell of a lot between the dream and the story, but they began as dreams. One dream I had was me as a general defending a city, sneaking through gardens to try to sabotage teh attackers. The enemy general caught me and invited me to dinner, where the other enemy officers ridiculed and mocked me. The enemy general later apologised for their behaviour. This became a story written from the POV of the attacking general, who takes a city due to the defending general sneaking out on a sabotage, under orders from the king, only to surrender to the attacking general for the safety of his people. I recently returned to this story and now the surrender bit is gone, and the attacking general won outright. The story follows the next six months as the people of the city rebel and try to expell the attackers, with the defending general key in all of this. It's called The General's Secret.
OF course. Dreams are wonderous things cause no one knows their causes. People SAY you dream about things you know, but how can that be? Babies in utero dream, what could they possibly be dreaming about that they know? and think about it... How many times have you dreamed about a place you've never been? Talked to people you don't know awake but know in dreams? I think dreams make excellent things to use for stories because for the most part they are unique and different >^.^<


I usually write first thing in the morning, so dreams often crop up in my plot ideas. I rarely develop them though, not sure why. Given the enthusiasm I've read above, I might give it a shot.
My dreams tend to be forgotten by the time I've smoked my first cigarette (usually 30 seconds after I've crawled out of bed.) Only one has ever stayed with me, and that's because it's repeated itself every six months or so ever since I was twelve or thirteen. I've no idea what the symbolism is, and I'd probably prefer not to know, but the imagery is so striking that I'm sure it'll work itself onto the page some day.
That's what a dream journal is for Dusk >^.^< We all started out with hardly anything we remembered but as you wake up and write... During that morning smoke e.e... you'll see every day you remember more andmore.. My journals if I still had them were about 2 or 3 pages for each dream by the time my ex wouldn't let me write them down anymore lol


As Midnight Falling said, remembering dreams is something you have to work at and train yourself to do. I've known people who think they don't dream at all because they don't remember them, but we all do. I used to write them down, straight away otherwise I'd forget them. But for years I stopped, and only now am I remembering my dreams vividly enough again to be reminded how awesome they can be.

None of my plots have ever really come from my dreams, but they often give me a very powerful experience of certain emotions that aren't really familiar in my everyday life. Though the main character in the book I'm writing now came from dreams and I know the character better than any I've ever written ^_^
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I dunno, I think people invest a bit too much in dreams. They are mostly just manifestations of our memory of the recent past, really. Watch some Doctor Who, have a craving for some Dolphins & Friends (seriously delicious version of Goldfish), go to the beach with a cute boy, and read a bit of Uzumaki, and you end up dreaming about drowning in a whirlpool of cheese while a cute boy does unmentionable things to you with a sonic screwdriver, perhaps concluding on a note that relates to your midterms anxiety. Some dreams are more coherent, to be sure, but they are still not driven by logic and the process of editing them into a real story makes them as useful as any other brief spark of inspiration, where you might decide to have a world where the ocean is cheese, but inevitably most of the story takes place on dry land and has very little to do with spirals or sexy doctors.

Not to say that the initial spark is any less valid, but I don't think it is of any more worth than a good book, a pretty picture, or a conversation with a friend. Though at least you can't be sued for plagiarism by your subconscious.