1. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've figured out why I suck at coming up with endings

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Melzaar the Almighty, Sep 11, 2010.

    I always wake up right at the pivotal moment in a dream - incidentally the same place I always end up floundering when I write a plot. :eek:

    How much does the way you dream affect the way you write? Discuss.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    day-dreaming is my plot. I don't dream much however I did dream about my query letter last night and have rewritten a paragraph in response.

    I use a lot of meditation I find telling myself I am a huge blonde guy or a tall athletic dark haired bloke makes a huge difference to my writing.
     
  3. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dreams for me is fantastic source for cool concepts and cool scenes and moods.
     
  4. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    At first, I was going to state that I rarely remember any of my dreams.

    Then I realized that after an entire summer of writer's block, with dozens of half way thought out ideas that remain unfinished...perhaps I'd be able to finish some of them if only I could remembered my dreams.

    Interesting concept you've posed here...
     
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  5. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, Lothgar - you got my question... I accept I suck at posing them. :p

    I have lots of deep, intense, and long dreams, which fizzle out just before the end.

    Guess how my novels go? :p
     
  6. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    The dreams I remember are pretty ordinary so I tend to write about ordinary everyday things sometimes. Although every now and again I'll get a decent dream that I'll wake up part way through and think 'wow!'. In fact, I had this awesome dream that I thought could totally be a film that I've decided I'm going to write a novel about it. Not done much with it yet though.. Anyway, I tend to remember snippets of dreams, either at the beginning of a situation/event or the end, and I guess that is reflected in my writing because I tend to write a bit and then just stop and give up, and tell myself I'll come back to it later. I'm not really sure.
     
  7. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think that where my dreams end or how they go really effects my writing one way or the other, but I do get a lot of ideas from my dreams. The story I'm working on right now is actually a dream I had a few days ago.
     
  8. MissPomegranate
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    MissPomegranate Member

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    I don't think my dreams really effect my writing, because I have some pretty freakin' weird dreams. I mean, a few nights ago I had a dream i had to kiss Catholic school boys who lived in a monastery located in a local amusement park, find chairs on a hippie bus for their boys choir, and rode a waterslide through my highschool, while still trying to kiss the boys...also, Casey Kasem was there, though I can't remember why.

    Daydreaming, however, is a different story. I get a lot of ideas from daydreams, but that's usually because I try and imagine my characters in random situations to see how they would react.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not at all!

    dreams may give me an idea for a story, but it's my waking ability to think them through to a workable conclusion that gets them finished...
     
  10. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you're missing the point... My dreams last night were stupid and about trying to win a girl over at a pirate convention and then battling Voldemort... But I'm just thinking about the shape dreams take and how my subconscious works and if that has anying to do withe way I write. I think it does. oR at least there is a correlation to the shapes my dreams take and how I end up appraching tings. Of course I day-dream all th time about my stoties, but taht's CONTENT rather than... stlye? I don't know... I've drunk a whole bottle of wine and then wobbled home to my computer so I have no idea whY I'm trying to post on a serious forum now. :p
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    my dreams never have endings, but all of my writings do... so i don't see how the one can be relevant to the other...
     
  12. John Cleeves
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    John Cleeves Member

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    Dreams are disorganised, nonsensical ramblings of a sub concious. Who'd want to read that?
     
  13. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I quite like nonesense verse some of the greatest names in English literature wrote it - Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl, Roger McGough, Michael Rosen, would include Spike Milligan but he is Irish:)
     
  14. SashaMerideth
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    SashaMerideth Contributing Member

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    My story has grown out of a dream I once had. Right now, it is nothing like the dream, but that dream got me started. I remember the dream didn't end, but I get to make up an ending.
     
  15. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    On reading this post I can believe that you have drunk a bottle of wine.:D

    Correct me if I am wrong but, are you expecting your dreams to come up with a beginning, a middle and an end?
    I should be so lucky!
    Sweet dreams and may they be many and fruitful;)
     
  16. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find it hard to take a dream and make it into a story, since they don't make much sense once you put them down on paper. But I think you can pick out specific elements from a dream for inspiration, as long as you're not afraid to ditch the parts which don't fit.
     
  17. Horizon Noise
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    Horizon Noise Member

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    I doubt dreaming has any effect on fictional story telling. I often write up my dreams into short stories (I'd guess they'd run to 300,000+ words if you add them all up) and certainly in my experience 'dream plot' has no impact on my fiction plot. I often dream detailed dreams, many with a beginning, middle and end and a complex 'plot' to boot, yet I wouldn't dream (pun intended-ish) of approaching a story using a similar plot structure because of the inherent assumptions you tend to have in dreams, and the lack of a need for them to appeal to anybody but yourself.
     
  18. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually last night I did dream about my characters have now written an opening I am happy with and refined my TV series plot.
     
  19. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    My dreams make great sense at the time, but on waking... Sometimes I get an idea for a situation from a dream, but never a coherent and finished plot.
     
  20. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is an interesting topic.

    My dreams tend to serve a different purpose to what people have mentioned thus far. They generally don't give me content to insert into fiction or provide the spark that ignites an idea. For me, dreams galvanise my imagination in a way that just doesn't happen if I come out of a dreamless sleep. It's more about my state of mind after dreaming than the dream itself. It's about waking up and viewing the world in a different way - without assumptions and habit. Do you ever wake up from a vivid dream and feel like you don't know where you are? I think it's this type of restlessness and feeling that you've been in another world that puts you in a great place to write.

    Sometimes I wake up out of a dream and write straight away. Perhaps it's because self doubt doesn't get a chance to creep in.
     
  21. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not quite, Peerie_Pict, but I do slump into a dream-like state when I focus on my stories for a longer time. It's a state where my inner images become more vivid and associations flow more freely.
     
  22. Zombie_Chinchilla
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    Zombie_Chinchilla Member

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    I don't usually get my ideas for stories from dreams. I get the "OMG I have an idea for a story" moments at the most random times. And when I do have them, it's usually not an entire plot line I'm "Aha!" -ing about. It's usually just an element of a story.

    For example, I've had the idea for a fantasy story that's about an elite group of assassins/rangers for the longest time, but that's all I have of it. No specific characters, no setting, no plot. :p
     
  23. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Wherever your inspiration comes from, you have work to do before it becomes a story. You have to tune the plot elements, work out the logical flaws, develop the ending, decise where the story should begin, and much more. You need to have these matters worked out, at least to a first approximation, worked out before you start writing.

    I'm not addicted to written outlines. I've posted many times that I don't use them. But I do run through my story ideas in my head over and again before I start writing. I know where the story is going, even if every minute detail is not preplanned. I have a flight plan, even if it turns out I have to make course adjustments to compensate for crosswinds, handle near approaches by other aircraft, or deal with changing weather.

    If your endings fall apart on you, it's because you haven't planned them adequately.
     
  24. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was thinking more about the story-telling experience - the movie theatre you visit most often. What is it, 10 dreams a night? And most of those dribble off into each other or a darker stage of sleep, or end with the alarm clock at the worst time. How many times have you woken up knowing you really were the execution of one plot twist from getting the girl?

    When it comes to real-life writing I plan as I go (ie: every 10-30 pages I stop and review where it's going against my general, as you say, flight plan, and see if there are any clouds up ahead I'm gonna bump into or whatever) and that usually gets me to the ending.

    But to me the endings always feel strangely unsatisfying... As often as I see a perfect ending, or as near to one as you can get, in other media, I can't help but feel like I draw a lot of the richness of my writing from dreams - a lot of my practice when I was younger was from writing up dreams into stories - and I feel trying to translate the impossible into probable-with-the-suspension-of-disbelief has helped me a lot. When it comes to ending, I don't have the same feeling of... whatever it is that I feel in the rest of the novel, where everything is floating happily along and leads smoothly one thing from the other. I feel the need to wrap up, and I also feel the way that can make the story suddenly seem a lot more self-conscious, and with that I often lose the magic floaty feeling I carry along with my writing on the way there. And my theory is simply that I've rarely experienced the perfect end in a dream, compared to zillions of middles and openings, and scenes that stood wonderfully on their own. I've only dreamed wrapping up once or twice, and while they were some of the best dreams, the impressions left from them are not enough to base dozens of novels' endings on. I don't know how endings are meant to feel.

    I'm a very emotive writer. Eh. :p

    Sorry it took so long to get back on this subject - I've been very tired and over-worked, so this is the first time I've actually had to type out what the hell I meant by the first post. :p
     
  25. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I dream more when I'm awake than when I'm sleeping.

    I usually only remember dreams from the night before if something in my life is off balance or I have a fever. The dreams I do remember are so far out they'd never make a coherent story.
     

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