1. United
    Offline

    United Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    10

    Daydreaming = Storymaking?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by United, Mar 26, 2015.

    If you daydream a lot about various things (not just everyday things, but like yourself in another world or life, etc.), are you necessarily good at coming up with good and creative plots? Or is it a given for a writer to also be good at daydreaming. Or is it that 'good' daydreamers are good story makers?

    I 'daydream' about so many 'fantastic', 'imaginative', and 'otherworldly' things, but I'm not sure (confident) that these 'ideas' are even worth making into a story...

    What do you think about this?
     
    jannert likes this.
  2. Chinspinner
    Offline

    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    1,019
    Location:
    London, now Auckland
    I have no idea how to gauge my day-dreaming prowess against other people. I simply don't know how they compare and whether mine are more fantastical or have a greater coherence in terms of potential plots than anyone else's.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  3. stevesh
    Offline

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan USA
    If it works as a story in your head, I don't know why the same wouldn't be true if you put it on paper. Give it a try with your favorite.
     
    Mike Hill, jannert and GingerCoffee like this.
  4. idle
    Offline

    idle Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    one of the hearts of Europe
    I'm not sure it necessarily means anything – the story making sense to you in your head doesn't guarantee it translates well to actual words. But the same could be said about other types of ideas and inspirations. It's definitely a good start, so go ahead and try out how it works.
     
    123456789 likes this.
  5. RachHP
    Offline

    RachHP Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    158
    Location:
    England
    I'd say, if you have an active imagination then you are a key candidate to be a story maker.
    Thinking creatively/having an imagination are arguably key attributes of every good writer, but really - it's just a tool. As @idle said, it's about how those creative, imaginative ideas get translated.

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said:
    You can make any imagined, fantastical concept you've been dreaming up, viable - you just have to pin it down and start the hard graft of actually writing. That takes confidence and I suspect this question was really just you looking for some validation or encourgament, so here it is: Go for it.
    You sound inspired. You sound creative. Pick an idea and see where goes! What's stopping you?
     
  6. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,668
    Likes Received:
    5,162
    My daydreams are rarely structured enough to have anything I'd call a plot - they're more isolated scenes with a lot of handwaving in between. For me, my daydreams are more closely connected to characterization and maybe setting, rather than plot.

    Guess it depends how you daydream.
     
    jannert likes this.
  7. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    I utilize daydreaming a lot for the 'creative' part of my writing. The trick is to then be able to take those ideas when you're in the more focused "craftsmanship" part of the writing and forge them into something with structure that can be communicated to others.
     
    lustrousonion and jannert like this.
  8. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    If you're not confident that these ideas can be stories - you should be.
    ANY idea can be a good story if you tell it right and put the necessary effort into it.
     
    GuardianWynn likes this.
  9. NiallRoach
    Offline

    NiallRoach Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    279
    Location:
    The middle of the UK
    I daydream (ironically) at night, before I go to bed and in the morning before I get up. That's where I do the bulk of my planning, characterisation, and everything else. To be honest, the first thing I write down is more like a second draft than a first, in light of that.

    What I find amusing about this, and I acknowledge that it's a bit offtopic, is that the association between running through scenes in my head and bed/sleep is strong enough at this point that often when I find a direction I want to explore, I get tired really quickly and have to go to bed.
     
    jannert likes this.
  10. edamame
    Offline

    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2013
    Messages:
    794
    Likes Received:
    385
    My daydreams aren't very vivid or complex, but I'll sometimes have a very vivid scene in my mind that inspires me to write. It's the plotting and the actual writing that's hard work.

    I don't necessarily think being a good daydreamer makes it easier to be a writer, because you still have to work on translating what you fantasize about onto paper. It can however, be a source of inspiration that others don't have the benefit of being blessed with.
     
    jannert likes this.
  11. Yume No Okami
    Offline

    Yume No Okami Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    32
    Hell yes daydreaming is story making. Creating a world and stories in your head- even idly- is story making. If you think, oh, that was great, but this would've been awesome, use it! Worked for me for five years- my piddly little clichéd urban fantasy became my (hopefully) symbolic but coherent story with more than 7 character arcs that tie into the main plot.
     
    jannert likes this.
  12. Lance Schukies
    Offline

    Lance Schukies Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    39
    I use daydreams and dreams for scenes in my writing.
    I also write about dreams in my stories
     
  13. Some_Bloke
    Offline

    Some_Bloke Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    I daydream to music, that is how I get the majority of my ideas for stories.
     
    jannert likes this.
  14. jannert
    Online

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,827
    Likes Received:
    7,353
    Location:
    Scotland
    I am so liking this thread. Daydreaming, and pre-sleep and post-sleep times are when my story gets grounded in the tone and the feel of what I want to write. That's the emotional time, the creative time, the time to let anything happen and see where it takes me. I'm not afraid to do and re-do the same scenes over and over in my head, night after night, until they gel in some way BEFORE I ever start writing.

    I do feel, sometimes, reading threads on this forum, that many new writers don't indulge in this step as much as they should do. I think that's why they have trouble figuring out what their characters are likely to do. If you've spent enough time with them in this daydreaming state (while you're awake, not actually asleep—doesn't matter what time of day it is) they will practically write themselves.

    What you need to pay attention to when you actually write are the intricacies of plot, and of course use of language. Make sure everything makes sense and builds towards a goal. That can be done outwith the daydreaming state. But it's the daydreaming that will provide the heart and personality to a story. I'd say indulge yourself, and don't feel you're not being 'productive' simply because you're not sitting at a computer tapping away. These daydreaming sessions are probably the most productive part of writing, really.
     
    Mike Hill and peachalulu like this.
  15. peachalulu
    Online

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,829
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    I'm reading something on clustering to find patterns in your writing. It's very interesting and I'm practicing the technique. It's actually a better visual of what I do in my head which is a lot of daydreaming. Images that come and go and make new suggestions on what the character should say or do. The daydreaming doesn't always give me plot. But it gives me scenes, new directions for the characters, characterizations and settings.
     
  16. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    This is funny to me because I mostly hit the daydreaming creative state when I'm at the office and fully alert - on the way to work in the morning or on lunch break. That's when I can really clear the brain and work concepts - granted that's probably because the two things that help me with that are walking and blasting music (so I create best at times when I'm doing both of those things). I do most of the actual WRITING at night, because if I have a scene then putting pen to paper is more a craft thing than a creative thing (although there's always discovery writing when you're actually playing it out.) But the high-level plot stuff is mostly daytime.
     
    jannert likes this.
  17. jannert
    Online

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    7,827
    Likes Received:
    7,353
    Location:
    Scotland
    It must be annoying to get the creative bursts while you're at work and can't write! I presume you carry a notebook to scribble down the ideas as they come tumbling out? Who says writing isn't a frustrating hobby? :geek:

    I totally relate to the walking thing, although my ability to do that just now is a bit curtailed, due to a very unhappy knee. But walking does loosen creative juices as well—oddly enough, for me it's most effective when story problem-solving, rather than initial inspiration.

    Blasting music? No. That's a horrible distraction. Don't get me wrong, I love 'blasting' music ...hey I grew up in the era when big speakers first came out ...but I can't write or think to it at all. Instrumental traditional music or soft classical music sometimes (to drown out other unwanted noise, like ice cream vans), but anything with a recognisable tune and/or words ...no.

    However, for daytime daydreaming, nothing beats a long trip (an hour or more) on public transportation. I can look out the window, and my brain engages with story stuff right away. This idyll gets totally shattered when I have to listen to somebody else's inane one-way mobile phone conversation going on nearby, though. Again, it's intrusive words that shatter the moment for me. I bought an iPad shuffle, loaded it with soft classical music (!) for these moments on buses when somebody else invades my airspace.

    Brains are funny, eh?
     
  18. stevesh
    Offline

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan USA
    Whoa. I could never do that. It's been a long time since I've ridden any kind of public transportation (other than airplanes), but I would feel the need to be alert and aware of what's going on around me. Probably the same reason it's impossible for me to sleep in public places, including airplanes and airports.

    Maybe the best example of what @United is asking about is erotica (OK, pornography) which are usually just a series of sex scenes reflecting the author's sexual fantasies.
     
  19. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    Brains are indeed funny.

    I do have a notebook but I keep a lot of it in-head. That and my job sometimes has long stretches with nothing to do (other times it's sheer craziness) so I actually do write at work during downtime.

    And with the music I'm just an auditory person so it works. Actually I brainstorm by assigning songs/artists to people, scenes, or settings and looping those until something gels...although I can't actually write with music. I've actually thought about including footnotes about songs that inspired chapters so readers can hear the "soundtrack"
     
  20. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,350
    Likes Received:
    3,092
    This is called fantasizing. I don't think it says anything about one's ability to write a novel.
     
  21. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    I wouldn't say that. The ability to fantasize is key to the creative process. People who can't do that well (and I know people who can't at some level) are missing a key component. Now - it's certainly not EVERYTHING you need to write a novel - but your ability to do it WELL is certainly a large part of the basic aspect of story creation.
     
  22. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,350
    Likes Received:
    3,092
    I don't think so. Most people want and think the same things. Often, the things people want are not things they have. Therefore, they fantasize. This is not being creative, and it also explains why so many stories sound exactly the same. Being intelligent is being creative, and it is not the same thing at all as fantasizing.
     
  23. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    Well I think part of the reason we read is that we want to go places that we can't go easily. The entire point, at some level, is to live vicariously through people who do interesting things. Heck, we have an entire genre called "fantasy" that basically is predicated on the idea of being able to see people to do things that are physically impossible. The act of reading a book is to essentially join a bunch of other people fantasizing about the same world (let alone things like Massive Multiplayer Role Playing Games 0r gaming fiction - neither of which I'm into but that's pretty much the same idea.)

    Maybe not all fantasizing is creative - or rather not all fantasizing is creative enough to serve the process of writing fiction. But what exactly are we doing if not fantasizing? I mean seriously...this is an entire forum full of people who basically spend way too much time with our imaginary friends (and give them imaginary enemies, and in some cases brutally kill them). Creation, any creation, requires the ability to think about something and say "that would be cool...but it doesn't exist...wait...I'll MAKE it exist!"

    That's certainly not the ENTIRE creative process - first you have to take the step of removing YOURSELF from your fantasies and make them about other people. Then, in order to write something well, there are layers upon layers of process, craft, and technique. Not to mention the ability to look at an idea and say, "You know what? This is fun but it's not a great novel concept.

    But how can one possibly CREATE a bunch of fake people, even entire fake worlds, without being able to indulge in flights of fancy or wanting experiences we don't have?
     
  24. Commandante Lemming
    Offline

    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    1,001
    And being intelligent - by itself - is not creative. I know a lot of highly intelligent people who are quite content to master pre-existing complex systems and use their talents to function within those systems. They are smart, often highly successful, enjoy the act of learning, and are wonderful people - but not creative. Creative is it's own thing.
     
  25. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,350
    Likes Received:
    3,092
    No my reasons for writing and reading fiction are vey different from the ones you stated, though of course I'm sure what you said is applicable to a good number of people
     

Share This Page