July 15, 2011

Dream a Little Dream- Using Dreams To Inspire Your Writing.

Many artists have used their dreams to inspire their creative ideas. Salvador Dali painted and wrote about his dreams and even made two classic surrealist films that incorporated dream logic and imagery. I'm fascinated by how some writers have dreamt of their book before writing it.

In the book Writers Dreaming by Naomi Epel, Authors-Stephen King, Amy Tan, Anne Rice, and William Styron, share how their dreams have inspired their writing.
Even popular YA Author Stephanie Meyer, was inspired to write Twilight after a dream. Here she explains, I woke up (on that June 2nd) from a very vivid dream. In my dream, two people were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods. One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire. They were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that A) they were falling in love with each other while B) the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately. I stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. I was so intrigued by the nameless couple's story that I hated the idea of forgetting it; it was the kind of dream that makes you want to call your friend and bore her with a detailed description. (Also, the vampire was just so darned good-looking, that I didn't want to lose the mental image.) Unwillingly, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write—something I hadn't done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering. But I didn't want to lose the dream, so I typed out as much as I could remember, calling the characters "he" and "she."

If you believe that we can learn a lot about ourselves from our dreams then maybe you could try the following.

*Keep a dream journal beside your bed to record any dreams or writing ideas that you have during the night or early morning.
*If you can, try to wake up slowly so you can remember your last dream. Try it on the weekends if it's more practical.
*Think of a topic, place, character, or plot, before you go to sleep and see if your dreams give you any ideas or clues.
*Ask a question if something is troubling you and your dreams might help you resolve the issue.
*When you wake, write down immediately any thoughts, feelings, and images, that you can.
*Write down any common symbols, patterns, or themes, and try to make connections between your dreams and recent events.
*If you're not happy with your dream then change the ending. This may also be better on a weekend when you can sleep in.
*Be patient. Recalling your dreams can take time and many people have trouble recalling their dreams.

These are just ideas if you would like to recall your dreams. Some of the best writing ideas can enter your mind while taking a shower, washing the dishes, staring out the window, walking the dog, or just daydreaming. All of the images play like a movie, memory, or dream sequence, that I believe, help writers communicate with an authentic voice.

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