Saturday, January 14, 2012


I often have vivid dreams. Really clear ones that I remember easily. Colour, events and heaps of dialogue that I recall with little problem. And some of these dreams I've used in my writing. In fact I keep a notebook where I jot down ideas or thoughts, including dream thoughts, and draw upon later for stories.

Dreams, however, rarely make stories in and of themselves. They tend to lack a narrative, or a plot that will sustain a story. But they are excellent launching pads for ideas. Recently I had the experience of waking up with memories of a dream that was an almost fully formed story. It only needed a little tweaking to whip it into shape, and I'm finding it's a story I'm quite excited about.

A couple of years ago I started having lucid dreams - ones in which you realise you're dreaming. And then I took it that step further into lucid dreams that you can control. (Not all lucid dreams can be manipulated.) But it's fascinating when you are in a dream state and you start changing the  environs, or manipulating events, or introduce people into your 'world'.

One of the ideas I've had is to bring a writer, say Philip K. Dick, into my dream - and then discuss story ideas with him. Of course I recognise that this would simply be a projection of my subconscious, but what a fantastic way to access ideas from that level. Unfortunately, once you're in a lucid dream, you don't always remember what you were planning to do when you were awake. And so far, I haven't brought PKD in.

Still, I now know what it feels like to fly (I'd never had a flying dream until I created one), and I know what it feels like to play a guitar solo in a Deep Purple type band in front of 20,000 screaming fans.

One of these nights I may ask for trouble and try to bring in Hunter Thompson and PKD. Now that could be a nightmare.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome. I LOVE flying dreams. I read somewhere that they are a subconscious recognition of exciting, positive change in your life.

My father said he stopped having flying dreams once he started studying aeronautical engineering. Apparently once he understood how planes stayed up, logic wouldn't let him fly any more, not even subconsciously.

I've written stories lifted straight out of dreams, before, too. But I've also been in the position of writing an entire novel around a beautiful scene from a dream, and being the last to realise that scene is the weakest and needs to be cut.

Beta-Reader: "Why do you have this scene in here? Cut it already!"

Me: *miserably* "But that's where the whole book came from and I'm sentimentally attached to it!

May you have many more really fun lucid dreams,