This morning, I woke up with some really vivid dreams still playing back in my head, most of which included travel. One included kittens, and snakes, then there was the Stanley Cup match dream, and ice cream.
When I was younger and hearing about Twilight, I got excited knowing that Stephenie Meyer created the books from a dream she had. It wasn’t something new to me, but seeing someone create from a little subconscious spark was a big exclamation point for me. Since I was younger, I was always a total goon for dreams, their meanings, and the research on them.
I found myself wanting of a dream that could do that, that felt so perfect for a story or a movie, and to let it take me on this huge ride of inspiration.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, it didn’t manage to happen while I was obsessed with the thought, but later, it did.
One thing I want to say about this is it’s how you perceive it, how you encounter that little crazy thing that happened in your dream. Is it enough to make something out of? Where does it make your mind wander, and how fast does it go?
For those of you who are apathetic about this topic, that’s fine, I recognized before I wrote this that it wouldn’t be for everyone. And rightly so, some people have very vivid, strange dreams, and others have more simple dreams that stick to normalcy and don’t make them look insane. I am not one of those people.
One dream, in fact, is up for debate on if I want to write it for NaNo. Sometimes your head just brings things together that are so strange, they work. With some minor tweaks, maybe, but they’re no less motivating.
I want to know what you think about this, what is your view on dreams helping the creative process? Do you do it, and if so, how often or infrequently? Are there any current stories that you’ve written that have come from your wild, or not so wild, subconscious?
All in all, I’m a fan of this kind of thing; sometimes my craziness just brings out something that I can’t let go. It’s a good source of creativity, in my opinion, because it’s a brain dump. You’re shaking out everything that you’ve had on your mind for the week, or for the day. When you shake loose papers, there’s bound to be something that makes you go, “Huh… That’s kinda cool.”
Another side to this is the dream sequences of characters, which can be much like our own, but also tend to waver on the premonition side of things. What’s the importance of dreams if there’s nothing that comes of it, right? It’s optional, like everything else, but in a way it’s a little thing that helps make the characters more real. I’m not saying you’d have to map out the entire dream, not unless you want to (refer to dreams being important, or going somewhere with the plot), but little mentions, maybe it disorients them or makes them go, “Uhm, what?”
It can also provide some comedic relief, or get them to briefly think about certain things, as well as putting them on the path of something else, just to get them off the trail of something they were close to solving.
Ultimately, it’s a distraction, but it can be a creative one. It’s up to you whether you let the unfettered subconscious have a say in what you write, the possibilities are endless.
-The Novice Wordsmith