1. xMissEnvyx
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    xMissEnvyx Member

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    Dreaming and character development

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by xMissEnvyx, Jul 27, 2008.

    So, I haven't actually sat down in a few weeks and worked on any of my stories. And I actually think my characters are getting mad at me. I keep having dreams where I am one of my characters. I guess it's a good thing I keep a dream journal handy for just these occasions :)

    But anyway, I was wondering if this happens to anyone else. Do you ever get this urge suddenly to revisit a story you haven't worked on because you dream about them? Like a spark suddenly appears and you can finally get over that hill in the story plot, or a new character appears and would be perfect for an already developed story?

    I have actually written a few short stories based solely on a dream I had nights before.
     
  2. Daisy
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    Daisy New Member

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    Yes, this has happens to me. I find I dream about my characters often, probably because when I go to bed I work out scene scenarios and dialogue in my head which helps me fall asleep. Sometimes the dream is weird and doesn't help at all, but sometimes it sparks an idea for a good scene. I've also had characters from stories I gave up on long ago come back to haunt my dreams and then I start thinking about reviving the story.
     
  3. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've never based any stories or characters off of my dreams, but I've had some dreams that would probably make really good stories. The funny thing is that I can remember those dreams almost perfectly years after they happen. The problem is most of them take nice childrens characters or themes and render them completely not childlike, but they're still not the kind of thing an adult would be interested in.

    Edit: But I have had some really good ideas come to me as I lay in bed waiting to fall asleep. I am using some of those. The last thing I posted for review in the novel section started that way.
     
  4. rumplestiltzkin
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    rumplestiltzkin Member

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    Happens to me all the time. I'm actually working on ten stories or something right now, and yet sometimes I'm not inspired for any of them, which is always annoying. But I've often been suddenly inspired, and can really see what's going to happen next just before I fall asleep, in that half awake half asleep time.....and sometimes the thoughts will continue in the dream....and sometimes I'll just forget.
     
  5. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    Now I have never actually dreamed about my stories or charectors, not gotten any inspiration what so ever from my dreams. To be honest, I very rarely remeber my dreams actually. I don't like writing about the ones I remeber though as they make no sense, and are un-logical with the things that cans uddenly appear etc.
     
  6. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    I would say that roughly half of my story ideas come from dreams :D.

    I even have one story where I had the character dream the dream that I dreamt to inspire the story in the first place! Phew!

    That's not to say that all my dream-stories contain dreams int hat raw form. Most often the dream sparks an idea, which then develops into a story, but when I look back, the story is nothing like the dream.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Dreams are your mind's way of reorganizing your day's accumulation of mental clutter. sometimes it builds cognitive connections you overlooked in conscious thought.

    You can make use of this mental tidying up. By all means use dreams if they help.
     
  8. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    All the time - if not for my dreams - I would never write.
     
  9. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Dreams heavily influence my writing, though not usually in as direct a manner as this. I'll often give my dreams to my characters if it fits in the context of the story. For example, one semi-recurring dream theme of mine is of me being outside when the sun dims and the sky goes dark, and I can't find my way back to the house. I gave that to two characters of mine because it fit the story.

    I once got the name of a character from a dream, though I don't usually get ideas for characters from the characters in my dreams, simply because most of my dream characters are pretty mundane, just nameless people whose company I happen to be in. I'll dream about my existing characters at times, though. One time I dreamed I met up with a British Redcoat character of mine and I was so jazzed to meet him! :D Often, however, my characters appear in my dreams as mere pretend, they aren't really there with me. I'll often pretend to be them, for example. If I do meet up with them, I don't see them directly, I just "sense" that they're there and I interact with them. I think this is because in real life I don't tend to look at people's faces that much (too shy), so I don't do it in dreams either; I sense people are around me rather than see their faces.

    I probably get lesser plot ideas from my dreams, but not major ones, I'm afraid. I'd sure like to, but my dreams are usually too weird to make a decent plot!

    I recently dreamed about one storyline of mine that I haven't been working on in ages, and that kind of sparked my interest in it again, but it's probably still going to remain on hiatus because I'm so busy with more promising things.

    Dreams influence my work mostly because they're a heavy theme in the writing itself, so it's pretty obvious they'd be important. :D
     
  10. Orianna2000
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    Orianna2000 Member

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    I learned long ago to search my dreams for story ideas. I frequently have vivid dreams, and many of them have unusual plots or storylines that I feel would make interesting stories. I always write them down--unless I wake in the middle of the night. Then I'll either be convinced that I'll still remember in the morning, or else my notes will be written half-asleep in the dark, and thus make no sense whatsoever when I try to read them in the morning! Quite a few of my short stories have been based off dreams; one dream even sparked a full-fledged novel (now a work-in-progress). Some of my stories are almost entirely a dream-plot, while others contain only a scene or two from a dream, but either way, it almost always makes the story more interesting.

    I did read an explanation for this, recently. If you try and actively search for story ideas, it's your left brain working on it. The trouble is, your left brain isn't the creative side. It's more the analytical and logical side--the side you use when plotting a timeline, charting your character's family tree, or editing your story. For the purely imaginative aspect of writing you need your right brain, which governs your imagination, creativity, and your gut feelings. It can take various ideas, little sparks of plot from things you've observed or thought about, and stir them together in your subconscious, and then if you don't know how else to access them, it'll feed them to you in your dreams.
     
  11. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    It was through dreams that I "discovered" one of the major pieces of information for my story.
     
  12. fantasywriter
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    fantasywriter Contributing Member

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    I once had a dream that one of my favorite short story characters died . . . It was quite sad, but it did inspire me to kill off the character when I begin writing novels about him. :-D
     
  13. tnme22
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    tnme22 Member

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    I've never actually dreamed about my characters but every once and a while I get a spark and just have to write something. Paragraphs just form in my head and it's wonderful. Unfortunately this doesn't happen very often. :)
    I don't know how many of you are Twilight fans or are familer with Stephenie Meyer at all but this ties into the whole dreaming about your characters thing. She had a dream where there were two people talking in a meadow. One was inhumanly beautiful and the other was just an ordinary girl. They had an entire conversation in this dream. The entire day she couldn't stop thinking about it and so she began to write it out. (She has three, young boys too). The story evolved and turned into Twilight, now a New York Times bestseller. Millions of die-hard fans (like myself) are now counting down the days until the fourth and final book in the series comes out. And all of this happened because of a vivid dream. :D
     
  14. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've used dreams as general bases for my stories, but much to my disappointment, I've never been able to dream about a story in progress.
     
  15. Marloy
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    Marloy Contributing Member

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    As much as I wish I could, the only place where I dream about my characters is constantly in daydreaming. And I really don't base any stories I have or have ever had on dreams because they are always so fantastical and odd I really can't seem to harness that in its full form in actual words (except for my dream journal, which I keep as well, though those are just dry descriptions).

    I've actually only had like two dreams of my characters; one was where I was with one for about a second by a tree, and the other I don't even remember. They'll come for a second and be gone like that, and sadly I'm almost always myself, not someone else.

    I do though, hear that it happens a lot. Even Stephenie Meyer found Edward Cullen in a dream. But no, I've never been able to (yet ;)).
     

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